Tuesday, November 18, 2014

2014 BBM 80th Anniversary Batters Edition Set

BBM followed up their 80th Anniversary Pitchers Edition set (issued in May) with a Batters Edition that they issued in August.  Like the earlier set, this one contains 99 cards - 90 player cards and 9 cards for "All Time Leaders".

BBM did a pretty good job selecting the batters appearing in the set.  Unlike most of their recent OB sets (and like the Pitchers Edition), there's a decent representation of players from before the 1970's including guys like Masaru Kageura, Shigeru Chiba, Kazuto Tsuruoka, Noburo Aota and Wally Yonamine who don't appear in BBM's OB sets very often.  There's a lot of the guys who you would expect in a set like this though - Sadaharu Oh, Shigeo Nagashima, Katsuya Nomura, Hiromitsu Kadota, Tetsuharu Kawakami, Isao Harimoto, Sachio Kinugasa, Koji Yamamoto, Koji Akiyama, Kazuhiro Kiyohara and Hideki Matsui to name a dozen or so.  There are a number of gaijin - Randy Bass, Tuffy Rhodes, Alex Ramirez, Ralph Bryant, Alex Cabrera, Leron Lee and Boomer Wells - and a number of active NPB players from 2014 - Kazuo Matsui, Wladimir Balentien, Seiichi Uchikawa, Shinnosuke Abe, Kosuke Fukudome, Takeya Nakamura, Atsunori Inaba, Nobuhiko Matsunaka, Michihiro Ogasawara, Norihiro Nakamura,Yoshinobu Takahashi, Motonobu Tanishige and Shohei Ohtani.  There's also one MLB player - Norichika Aoki.  There's a couple notable omissions - Hiromitsu Ochiai and Ichiro Suzuki - and I can think of a bunch of guys that there are arguments that can be made about why they should be in the set rather than some who are - Bobby Rose jumps to mind - but it's a pretty good representation of the best hitters over the years in NPB.

The pictures used in the set are very good.  It must be quite a challenge for BBM to find pictures that haven't already been used many times for some of the players who show up in OB sets frequently but BBM lived up to in several cases.  For example, I've never seen this shot of Nagashima before and I have over 180 cards of him.

On the other hand, the photo used for Sadaharu Oh is about as generic as they get:

Here's some other example cards:





The nine "All Time Leader" cards celebrate the guys who hold the records for highest batting average in a season (Randy Bass) and career (Leron Lee), home runs in a season (Wladimir Balentien) and career (Sadaharu Oh), career RBIs (Oh), stolen bases (Yutaka Fukumoto), games played (Katsuya Nomura) and hits (Isao Harimoto) and longest consecutive games played streak (Sachio Kinugasa).  (Nomura will probably be passed by Motonobu Tanishige next year - he's only 26 games behind him and he can write himself into the lineup).  Here's the card for Lee:

As always, you can see the cards at Jambalaya and check out Ryan's post on the set.

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