Thursday, September 3, 2020

Most Hall Of Fame Players In A BBM Set

I did a post a while back where I looked into which BBM flagship set had the most Hall Of Famers in it.  The answer was the 1991 set which featured 22 Hall Of Famers.  The more I've thought about it since doing that post the less satisfied I am with that answer.  It's not that the numbers are wrong - there are 22 current Hall Of Famers in the 1991 BBM set and that's the most in any BBM flagship set - but there's an aspect that I felt I should take into consideration - managers.

It is much more likely for a star player in NPB to become a manager than it is in MLB.  Let's use the 500 home run club for an example of this.  There are 27 MLB players with more than 500 home runs.  Only four ever managed an MLB team - Mel Ott, Ted Williams, Eddie Mathews and Frank Robinson.  There have only been eight NPB players with more than 500 home runs* and half of them have managed NPB teams - Katsuya Nomura, Sadaharu Oh, Koji Yamamoto and Hiromitsu Ochiai.

*I'm not including Hideki Matsui in this list as his 500 career home runs are split between NPB and MLB

So why does this matter?  There are nine Hall Of Fame managers in the 1991 BBM set.  That means three quarters of the NPB teams were managed by a Hall Of Famer that year!  And 1991 is not alone - there were also nine Hall Of Fame managers in 1998, 1999 and 2001.  So given that there are so many managers in the Hall Of Fame, I thought it'd be interesting to see which BBM sets had the most Hall Of Fame players in them.

Somewhat surprisingly, the answer is the 1994 set with 14.  The 1991, 1992 and 1993 sets each have 13 and the 1995 set has 12.  The numbers drop steadily after that with the 1996-98 sets each having 11, the 1999 set has 9, the 2000 and 2001 sets have 8 each, and so on until 2012 which is the last BBM set to feature a Hall Of Fame player (Tomoaki Kanemoto).

Here's the 14 Hall Of Famers from the 1994 set:

1994 BBM #463

1994 BBM #16

1994 BBM #84

1994 BBM #164

1994 BBM #363

1994 BBM #132

1994 BBM #151

1994 BBM #321

1994 BBM #216

1994 BBM #316

1994 BBM #131

1994 BBM #67

1994 BBM #112

1994 BBM #296


Sean said...

Interesting! I wonder if any set will ever overtake that total, given that a lot of future NPB hall of famers now play at least part of their careers in MLB and thus are absent from Japanese sets.

Nick Vossbrink said...

Both of the horizontal cards are great but the Matsui is absolutely wonderful.

NPB Card Guy said...

@Sean - given the glacial pace of guys getting elected to the HOF it'll be a while until there's any significant changes in the counts, especially for the players. Tabuchi's election earlier this year only changed the count for one set (1991).

@Nick - That may be the best photo of all of Matsui's BBM flagship cards

Anonymous said...

Great post! Thanks.


Fuji said...

That Matsui card is awesome! He looks so young on that card.

SumoMenkoMan said...

A classic shot of Hideo for sure. Look at the twist of his wrist. Crazy.