2021 BBM 2nd Version Set Summary
Size: 318 cards (cards numbered 337-600, the 18 cards of "Ceremonial First Pitch" subset are separately numbered FP01-FP18and 36 cards for the "Cross Torrent" subset are separately numbered CT37-CT72)
Cards Per Team: 19 (team card + 18 players)
Team Card Theme: Early Season Candids
Number Of Leader Cards: N/A
Subsets: 1st Version Update (36), Ceremonial First Pitch (18), Cross Torrent (36)
Inserts: New Sensation (12), Show Man (12), Phantom (12, #'d to 25), Foil Picturesque (12, #'d to 15)
Memorabilia Cards: Jersey cards for Takahisa Hayakawa and Teruaki Satoh, both of which are #'d to 200 along with patch versions that are #'d to 20 each. There's also a combination jersey card featuring both Hayakawa and Satoh which is #'d to 10 along with a patch version of the combination card that is #'d to 5. There are autographed cards for players that use a landscape version of the "Cross Torrent" cards that have print runs between 5 and 60 cards and other autograph cards that are #'d to 5. There are also autographed "buy back" cards of Tomoya Mori. There are autographed versions of eight of the "Ceremonial First Pitch History" cards with print runs between 25 and 27 with a silver parallel autographed version that are #'d to 5. There are also 21 players with autograph cards using the format for the autograph cards in the player's team set - these are mostly for players who BBM was not able to include autograph cards in their team set due to COVID restrictions.
Parallels: 12 cards (one per team) have a "Secret" version which is a short printed photo variation. 12 other cards (also one per team) have an "Ultra Secret" version which is an even shorter printed photo variation. 70-ish of the player cards have four different facsimile autograph parallels - silver (unnumbered), gold (#'d to 100), hologram (#'d to 50), and red (#'d to 25) . Each "Cross Torrent" card has two parallels - one that's #'d to 100 and a "1 of 1" version. There are five different parallels for the "Ceremonial First Pitch" cards - holo (#'d to 300), silver (#'d to 200), gold (#'d to 100), silver holo (#'d to 50) and gold holo (#'d to 25). The "New Sensation" inserts have a parallel version that is numbered to 100 while the "Show Man" cards have one parallel numbered to 150.
Notable Rookies: Yukikazu Sano
After a departure from the norm last year, BBM's 2nd Version set returned to form this year. Once again there are 216 "regular" cards (18 per team) - unlike the 180 (15 per team) last year - and only the three usual subsets (1st Version Update, Cross Torrent and Ceremonial First Pitch) instead of the six last year - 1st Version Update, Cross Blossom, Ceremonial First Pitch History, Proud Ace, Big Archist and Ground Master. Oh, and the Ceremonial First Pitch cards show pitches from the current year this time - last year's set had "historic" first pitches since by the time the set went to press the season had only been going on for about a week and a half.
As usual the "regular" cards are pretty attractive. The photo selection continues the improvement that BBM started in this year's 1st Version set although there's still more "pitchers pitching, batters batting and catcher catching" photos than I'd like although it'd be tough for BBM to not have ANY cards using those poses. Here's a bunch of examples:
The backs have the player's statistics up until May 17th:
There's 43 players who appear in the "regular" cards of the set who were not in this year's 1st Version set. I'm not positive but I think that might be the most ever. It's certainly the most over the past several years. This I think is partly driven by the number of foreign players who were left out of 1st Version due to their late arrival in Japan this spring. My reasoning for this is kind of roundabout - there's a whole bunch of foreign players in the 1st Version update subset for this set and I'd guess that that pushed some guys who would have normally been in that subset into the regular set (if that make sense). There's still several foreigners with "regular" cards who weren't in 1st Version - Brandon Laird, Cy Sneed, Joe Gunkel, Jefry Marte and Reed Garrett. Most of the other players are simply players who are making more of an impact for their team than BBM expected like Daiki Asama, Yuma Mune, Yuki Takahashi, Chihaya Sasaki and Sho Iwasaki.
The "1st Version Update" subset contains 36 cards (3 per team) using the 1st Version design featuring players who didn't appear in 1st Version. As I said above, a lot of these are foreign players. The subset contains 20 Westerners - Adeiny Hechavarria of Lotte; Mike Gerber and Randy Rosario of Chunichi; Nick Martinez,
ChrisColin Rea and Carter Stewart of the Hawks; Raul Alcantara and Mel Rojas, Jr. of Hanshin; Kyle Bird, Robert Corniel and Dovydas Neverauskas of Hiroshima; Robbie Erlin of Nippon-Ham; Stefen Romero of Orix, Matt Dermody of Seibu, Brandon Dixon of Rakuten; Jose Osuna and Domingo Santana of Yakult; Fernando Romero and Kevin Shackelford of DeNA and CC Mercedes of Yomiuri. (I do need to mention that not all of these guys were late arrivals this season). UPDATE - one thing I forgot to mention: Justin Smoak of the Giants is NOT one of the foreign players in the set although he was included in some of the early promotional materials for the set. Smoak had asked for his release from the team in late June, early enough that BBM was able to replace him in the set. You can sort of see his intended card in Discount Niki's page for the set.
The remaining players are again just guys who are playing a bigger role for their team than BBM had expected - guys like Akira Neo, Aito Takeda and Nien-ting Wu (who's from Taiwan but went to high school and college in Japan and was subject to the draft so he doesn't count as a foreign player). There's also a couple players who were traded since early March (Takahide Ikeda, Masaki Tanigawa, Taishi Hirooka and Kazuto Taguchi) although none of the appeared in 1st Version with their original team. As usual I have no idea how BBM decides who gets a "1st Version Update" card and who just shows up in the "regular" cards.
There's a couple players in the subset who are former ikesei players who have been registered to the 70 man roster for the first time - Dan Onodera of Hanshin, Fumiya Motomae of the Marines and Yukikazu Sano of Orix. Sano was drafted last fall so he's the only one of the three who gets the "Rookie" icon on his card:
The theme for the team checklists is "early season highlights" for lack of a better term. There's a couple photos of post game celebrations, either on the field or during the "Hero Interviews". There's also an action shot of Shogo Nakamura of the Marines sliding head first into home and the Dragons' mascot Doala doing his backflip. Here's the Carp card showing Ryutaro Hatsuki (#69) and Masato Morishita (#18):
Of course this set has the other half of the cross set subset "Cross Torrent" - the first half was in the 1st Version set. There are 36 cards (three per team) numbered from #CT37 to CT72.
BBM's annual ode to Japanese pop culture - the "Ceremonial First Pitch" subset - is back this year after being a "historic" subset last year. The 18 cards are probably only around half of what BBM will eventually do - there'll likely be more of these cards in the Fusion set later this year. There's the usual collection of Idols in the subset - Shiori Tamai (from Momoiro Clover Z), Mirei Suganami (from ≠ ME), Rikako Yagi (from Asia Cross), Haruka Momokama, Shiori Kubo and Maria Makino (from Morning Musume). There's even a male Idol - Yukihisa Tamura. There's a model (Miyu Ikeda), a pair of comedic brothers (the Tosa Brothers), a kabuki actor (Ukon Onoe), an actor (Fuku Suzuki), a TV announcer (Yumi Nagashima), a baseball You-Tuber (Tokusan) and an anime character (Conan Edogawa).
Several of these people have appeared in previous subsets - Tamai appeared in the 2018 Fusion set; Suzuki was in the 2012 2nd Version set (when he was eight!) and Kubo was in last year's Fusion set. Even the anime character Conan Edogawa was in a previous set - the 2011 2nd Version set. This is Makino's fourth appearance in one of these subsets - she was previously in the 2017 2nd Version, 2018 2nd Version and 2019 Fusion sets. That's two fewer than our returning champion, Idol/announcer Ami Inamura, who is appearing in her sixth BBM "Ceremonial First Pitch" subset after previously being in the 2016 2nd Version and Fusion sets, the 2017 2nd Version and Fusion sets and the 2018 Fusion set. If you include the "secret" version of her 2017 2nd Version card, the six "Sports Card Magazine" insert cards of her and the two Epoch JWBL "First Pitch" cards of her, this is the 15th card of her doing a first pitch ceremony.
If you've been counting, you'll have noticed that I've only mention the subjects of 15 of the 18 "Ceremonial First Pitch" cards (the two Tosa brothers share a card). The remaining three cards feature members of the Hanshin Tigers Women's Team (and former Japan Women's Baseball League players) - Mizuki Bandoh, Asaka Tsuru and Minako Uemura.
As usual, you can see all the cards (including the inserts, "secret" versions and parallels) over at Jambalaya.