Sunday, March 3, 2019

2019 BBM Rookie Edition

BBM released Rookie Edition, their annual draft pick set, a couple weeks ago.  I have long ago run out of interesting things to say about this set every year so I'll stick with the basics - it's got a base set of 117 cards, 104 of which are for the players taken in last October's draft.  The other cards are a "drafted player list" card and a 12 card "Early Days" subset.

The 104 player cards include the players taken in both the regular and ikusei drafts.  The big names in this year's set (so far anyway) are former Osaka Toin teammates Kyota Fujiwara (Marines) and Akira Neo (Dragons).  This is the fourth year in a row that the players are framed in a geometric figure.  BBM has returned to circles this year, which they did in 2016,  after doing triangles in 2017 and pentagons last year.  NPB teams hold press conferences over the winter to introduce the newly drafted players and BBM uses photos from these events for the Rookie Edition set.  The problem with this is that the photos are always relatively uninteresting, just showing players posing with a ball or bat or making a "guts" pose.  I find this to be the most annoying thing about the set each year.  I've been saying for quite a few years now that this set would be a lot more interesting if they used photos of the players in their college, high school, industrial league or independent minor league uniforms rather than ones from the press conference.  This is somewhere where Epoch could mount a serious challenge to BBM if they were willing to do the legwork for the licensing and produce a rival set.





Like last year, BBM did "secret" versions of the 12 1st round draft picks.  While the "secret" versions in the 1st and 2nd Versions and the Fusion sets have featured more interesting photos, the ones for Rookie Edition simply feature a different boring photo than the original.

The "drafted player list" card is simply a list of all the draft picks.  There's no pictures on it and it really doesn't serve any purpose I can tell other than to get the number of cards in the set to be divisible by 9.

The "Early Days" subset features an active player from each of the 12 NPB teams.  Each card features two photos of the player - the one in the foreground appears to be from last year while the one in the background is from their rookie player press conference at some point in the past.  BBM has always had some sort of subset in Rookie Edition featuring active or OB players that seems extraneous - I generally feel they're an excuse to include autograph cards of those players in the set.  At least the subset this year is fairly attractive.

For the first time these aren't the initial NPB cards for all the players - the six players drafted by Chunichi were featured on Epoch One cards last December, although the photos were taken at the same press conference that the Rookie Edition photos were taken at (in fact the Kota Ishibashi Rookie Edition photo looks like a crop of the one on his Epoch One card).  So while Epoch could give mount a challenge to BBM, they haven't really yet.

I complain about this set every year but I do feel like it's a must buy every year.  It's just that you won't really know who the good players in the set are for a few years.

You can see all the cards (including the "secret" versions and insert cards) over at Jambalaya.

1 comment:

Sean said...

That really is a dreary looking set, even by BBM standards!