Saturday, May 30, 2015

2015 BBM Tigers 80th Anniversary Set

BBM's latest team anniversary set is for the Hanshin Tigers.  If this sounds familiar to you, it's because this is the third such set for the Tigers (not including the Tigers Legend set).  The first was in 2005 for their 70th Anniversary and the second was in 2010 for their 75th.  You can do the math yourself and figure out that the new set is for the Tigers' 80th Anniversary.

At 81 cards, this edition of the Tigers Anniversary set is smaller than the previous iterations (which were 99 cards).  There are 66 cards for OB players and 15 cards for the 2015 Tigers.  Unlike the previous versions of the set, there are no other subsets in the sets - no team history cards, no team record holders - just cards of current and former Tigers.  As always, the OB players include both retired players and former Tigers still active in both NPB (Takahiro Arai, Kei Igawa) and MLB (Kyuji Fujikawa - active as of the publish date of the set).  The retired players include pretty much everyone you'd expect, especially guys who were in the other two sets like Masayuki Kakefu, Fumio Fujimura, Tadashi Wakabayashi, Akinobu Okada, Minoru Murayama, Masaaki Koyama, Akinobu Mayumi, Koichi Tabuchi, Randy Bass and Tom O'Malley.  There's a handful of guys who make their Tigers Anniversary debut in this set - Gene Bacque and Katsumi Fujimoto - as well as a bunch of recent retirees who were in earlier sets as current Tigers - Tomaki Kanemoto and Shinjiro Hiyama.  The biggest name that's missing is probabaly Yutaka Enatsu, who was in both the earlier sets but for some reason not this one.






If you're sensing a little lack of enthusiasm on my part for this set, you're right.  I'm not very impressed with this set.  On it's own it's not a bad set but it's just pretty much made redundant by the previous two sets.  I hope BBM does not view the Tigers' 85th Anniversary as being noteworthy but we'll see in 2020.

I'm curious to see what BBM does in the next couple years as teams that they've previously done Anniversary sets for hit round number anniversaries again.  The Giants 80th Anniversary set last fall was very nice - partially because the Giants' previous Anniversary set was ten years earlier.  The Dragons' 80th Anniversary is next year and the Hawks' is in 2018.  Both of those teams had a 70th and 75th - does there really need to be an 80th?  I do have hopes for a Fighters 70th Anniversary set this year because that's a team whose history has barely been covered by BBM's OB sets (only the 10 Years In Hokkaido set from 2013).

You can see what you think of the set yourself by checking out the cards over at Jambalaya.

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