Tuesday, November 25, 2014

2014 BBM Giants 80th Anniversary

Got a couple sets in the mail yesterday a little quicker than normal.  One of them was BBM's latest team Anniversary set - the Giants 80th Anniversary set.

The base set contains 99 cards, split into four subsets.  The first subset is a six card "History of Giants".  Each card covers a different time period in Giants history with a picture on the front from the time period.  Each time period has a different name on the card (in Japanese so I'm relying on Google translate of Jambalaya's page for the set) - "Dawn Of Giants" (1936-44), "Second Golden Age" (1946-1960), "V9 Giants" (1961-74), "From Slump To Glory" (1975-88), "March Of The Giants" (1989-2001) and "21st Century Giants" (2002-2014).  Here's the "From Slump To Glory" card ("slump" referring to the Giants sole 6th place finish in 1975):

The second subset is for OB Giants players.  As usual in these sets, "OB" players include both retired players and former Giants players who are still active in either NPB or MLB (or in one case, the Baseball Challenge League).  At 69 cards, this is the largest subset in the set (as you'd probably expect).  Also as you'd expect, the subset contains Sadaharu Oh, Shigeo Nagashima, Isao Shibata, Isao Harimoto, Tetsuharu Kawakami, Hideki Matsui, Tatsunori Hara, Tsuneo Horiuchi, Kiyoshi Nakahata, Koji Uehara and Suguru Egawa.  There's a good selection of older players like Eiji Sawamura, Victor Starffin, Noburo Aota and Shigeru Chiba, although as usual the bulk of the players represented are from the 1960's and later.  Every Giants manager is included in the set either as a player or a manager - Sadayoshi Fujimoto, Haruyasu Nakajima, Hideo Fujimoto, Osamu Mihara, Shigeru Mizuhara, Kawakami, Nagashima, Motoshi Fujita, Oh, Hara and Horiuchi.

There is a notable lack of foreign players - only Wally Yonamine and Alex Ramirez are included in the set.  Warren Cromartie is probably the biggest foreign player omission but Tuffy Rhodes wouldn't have been out of place in the set.  I was kind of surprised to see that Kazuhiro Kiyohara was not included in the set.  I was less surprised to see that Hiromitsu Ochiai and Masaichi Kaneda are not in the set as Ochiai has not appeared on a baseball card since 2011 and Kaneda doesn't show up very often.

The photos used in the subset are pretty good.  Most of the players are depicted in a photo that I don't think has been used for a card before (with the exception of a couple of the older players that there simply aren't many photos for).  I knocked BBM's 80th Anniversary Batters Edition set the other day for having a pretty generic picture of Sadaharu Oh - this set makes up for it:

 Here are some other example cards:





The third subset is 15 cards for the 2014 team.  Unlike the OB cards, these are pretty nondescript.  The 15 players include pretty much who you'd expect - Abe, Sugano, Sugiuchi, Murata, Takahashi, Sakamoto, Chono and Kamei.  None of the Giants' foreign players from 2014 (Leslie Anderson, Frederick Cepeda, Jose Lopez, Scott Mathieson) appear in the subset.  The photos are all pretty generic as well - pitchers pitching and batters batting with the exception of this card of Takahiro Suzuki:

The final subset is a nine card "Giants Team Record" subset.  This features nine different players (five batters and four pitchers) and nine different statistical categories.  Three of the batters don't actually lead the statistical category they represent on their card - Shigeo Nagashima is #3 in games played (Sadaharu Oh is #1), Tetsuharu Kawakami is #3 in hits (Oh is #1) and Tatsunori Hara is #4 in RBI (Oh again is #1 - both for the Giants and for NPB).  Everyone else in the subset is #1 in the category on their card - Oh (home runs), Isao Shibata (stolen bases), Tsuneo Horiuchi (games pitched), Takehiko Bessho (wins), Hiromi Makihara (strikeouts) and Mitsuo Sumi (saves).

If it isn't clear from what I've written, I do like the set.  It's attractive and a good representation of the history of the Giants.


Ryan G said...

This might be the best team anniversary set BBM has done, at least as far as design and photography goes. I really wish they'd focus more on the history of the team instead of just the players - images or at least recognition of events (not just eras), stadium details (which I might be in the minority about), and pennant winning teams (again, not just eras, but each year the team made it to the playoffs or at least participated in the Japan Series).

I still like the set too, though a complete set probably won't be part of my collection.

kndynt2099 said...

Did you end up purchasing this set overseas or on eBay? I can never find it!

NPB Card Guy said...

I got it from Yahoo! Japan Auctions using kuboTEN as a proxy.

kndynt2099 said...

Thanks NPB Card Guy...Just won an auction for a complete set (minus any specials) for Y1200! Although, not sure how much everything will cost with KuboTEN fees and shipping.

NPB Card Guy said...

Just eyeballing it...probably looking at 3000 to 3500 yen total depending on what you pick for shipping from Japan. Or between $24 and $29 - the exchange rate is very favorable for us right now.

NPB Card Guy said...

But I could be underestimating domestic shipping.