Tuesday, March 23, 2021

1995 BBM Final Five

The 1995 BBM set is a bear to try to complete.  Ryan wrote a post about his attempts to complete this set recently and he lays out some of the issues in it.  There are four short printed subsets (the 10 card "Then And Now" one and three nine card puzzles of Ichiro, Hideki Matsui and Hideki Irabu) plus BBM did a "Late Series" where they removed all the original cards of the Chiba Lotte Marines and replaced them with new ones.  This makes all the Marines cards - both the original and the Late Series ones - scarcer than the other cards in the set, although I don't think they're as scarce as the short printed cards.

What appear to be the most scarce of all cards from this set are five short printed cards that BBM tacked onto the end of the Late Series.  Well, six cards actually but the final card is a checklist for all the Late Series cards.  

Three of these cards are for Americans who signed with their NPB teams after the 1995 set had gone to press - Rich Monteleone, Kevin Mitchell and Terry Bross.  Monteleone and Mitchell both wore out their welcome rather quickly in Japan but Bross did very well.  He threw a no-hitter in September of 1995 and led the Central League in ERA.  He spent five years playing in NPB, three with the Swallows and two with the Lions and won Nippon Series Championships in 1995 and 1997.  These are the only cards of Monteleone and Mitchell as active players in Japan although Mitchell has an OB card from the 2013 BBM Deep Impact set.

The other two cards feature Masato Yoshii and Tatsuji Nishimura, who were traded for each other during spring training that year.  I assume that these cards replaced their original cards in the set in the same manner that the Late Series Marines cards replaced the original Marines cards.

I had never seen any of these cards before this year but I have now acquired all six of them.  I had picked up the Mitchell card on Ebay from a seller in Taiwan back in January.  I ended up having some conversations with the seller off and on over the last two months and I picked up a number of cards that I needed from both the 1995 and 1996 sets.  A few weeks back they offered me the Bross card and I jumped at it.  A few days later they offered me the other four cards and I jumped again.  By late last week I had gotten all the cards in hand.  Here they are:







"Book value" of these cards is, as always, difficult to determine.  The most recent Sports Card Magazine with values for BBM baseball sets (SCM #116) lists the value of each player card at 1500 yen and the checklist at 600 yen.  The last edition of Gary Engel's checklist and price guide that included BBM cards had the Mitchell card at $50, the Yoshii card at $40, the Nishimura card at $12, the Monteleone and Bross cards at $8 and the checklist at $5.  I saw auctions on Yahoo! Japan Auctions last week where the Mitchell sold for 4000 yen, the Monteleone sold for 2000 yen and the Bross sold for 1000 yen.  The Yoshii and Nishimura cards went unsold at 2000 yen.

I did somewhat better than that.  I got the Mitchell for $7, the Bross for $8 and the other four cards for $9 each, not including shipping.  

1 comment:

SumoMenkoMan said...

Nice! Looks like you got a steal in some aspects. Glad you could knock off a few more. Early 2000 sumo cards are the same way. Super hard to find singles.