I'm back from vacation so it's time to get caught up on sets that were announced while I was gone...
- BBM announced that their annual Rookie Edition Premium set will be released in late October. This box set will contain 38 cards - a 36 card base set plus two premium cards which may be parallel, autograph or memorabilia cards. The 36 cards (three per team) feature top rookies from the season but they aren't necessarily each team's top three picks from last year's draft.
- Two years ago BBM issued a multi-sport set called Masterpiece to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of BBM Sha, the parent magazine publisher for BBM. Last year they did another multi-sport set called Infinity. This year they will release yet another multi-spot set and it too will be called Infinity. It's a pack based set but there's not a lot of detail about the set on the web page - I can't tell you how big the base set is. As with the other two sets it appears that the sport most represented in the set is baseball - the website lists about 30 baseball players (17 OB and 13 current) including Katsuya Nomura and Masanori Murakami. The other sports represented include wrestling, golf, figure skating, tennis, rugby, American football, volleyball, softball and horse racing. The card design looks exactly like last year's set which makes me wonder if this set should be viewed as a continuation of that set. The website shows a couple cards called "Family Ties" - I don't know if these are a subset or an insert but one of them shows brother and sister baseball players Shingo and Yuki Kawabata. The set will be released in early November.
- Speaking of Yuki Kawabata, her league is getting a card set this year. Epoch is releasing a second set for the Japan Women's Baseball League (JWBL) on October 20th (their first came out back in 2016). This is a pack based set that has an 80 card base set which includes the manager, coach and mascot for all four teams in the league. The base set will also include a card for Ami Inamura, the "First Pitch Queen". There will be autograph and memorabilia cards randomly inserted in the packs.
- Epoch is releasing a fourth in its series of ultra high end team sets called "Stars & Legends" - this one will be for the Carp. A box of this retails for 13,300 yen and I think only includes four cards - although two of those will be "special insert cards" which are either autograph or memorabilia cards. The base set has 55 cards which I think are split between 33 active players and 22 OB players. The set will be out on October 27th.
- I had suggested earlier this year that BBM might possibly do a 40th Anniversary set for the Lions moving to Saitama from Fukuoka (which happened in 1979 making this year the Lions' 40th season there). It doesn't look like BBM is doing a set but Epoch is - as another ultra high end set. Each box will retail for 12,100 yen and contain six cards - two of which will be autographed. The base set contains 37 cards - 36 cards for OB Lions greats like Koji Akiyama, Tsutomu Itoh and Katsuya Nomura (this is apparently Nomura's first Epoch card) plus a card for...Ami Inamura for some bizarre reason. The set will be released on October 20th.
- For the third year in a row Epoch is releasing a Pacific League only ultra high end set called "Pacific League Premier". Boxes of this will retail for 13,900 yen and contain eight cards - four base set cards, two "insert" cards (holospectra or "silk embossed") and two "Special Insert" cards (autograph or memorabilia). The base set has 54 cards - nine for each PL team. This set hits the shelves on October 20th.
- I'm late in mentioning this but there's a new KBO set from SCC out. This one does cover 2018. Dan has all the details on it here but I'll summarize by saying that it's a 253 card set although the last 13 cards are all autograph cards. The base set then is 240 cards which breaks down to 24 cards for each of the ten KBO teams. What's a bit confusing is that those 240 cards are split between 100 "Normal" cards, 45 "Rare" cards, 43 "Holo" cards, 43 "Facsimile Autograph" cards and 9 "Rookie" cards - I don't know if any of these subsets are short printed or not. Dan's post includes information on where to purchase boxes for the set and he's also uploaded the checklist and card images for the set to TradingCardDB.com.