Saturday, December 18, 2021

2021 BBM Buffaloes History 1936-2021

The sixth and most recent of BBM's "History" OB team sets was released a few weeks ago at the end of November.  This time around the Buffaloes are the subject and the set is called "Buffaloes History 1936-2021".  I should stress that the Buffaloes in question here are the Orix variety - Kintetsu isn't covered by this set.  It does cover the three incarnations of Orix teams - the Braves (1989-90), the BlueWave (1991-2004) and the Buffaloes (2005-present) - as well as their predecessor, the Hankyu Braves.

Given that this is the fourth one of these sets that BBM has put out in the past four months and the second one that I'm doing a post about in as many days, you'll have to forgive me if I kind of rush through this one.  Like the other five sets, there's three sections to this set - the seven "Buffaloes History" cards, the 71 OB player cards and the 12 active player cards.  Each of "Buffaloes" history cards covers a 9-15 year period in the team's history (during which the team was mostly not the "Buffaloes") - the photo on the front highlights some event during the covered time period and the back lists the team's results in each season covered.  Here's the card for the 1989-2001 period that features a photo of the team celebrating their 1996 Nippon Series Championship:


As with the previous sets, this set appears to primarily be an autographed card delivery system so the OB player section ignores the first roughly 20 years of the team's existence.  The oldest player in the set - Tetsuya Yoneda - didn't start his career until 1956.  He and Mitsuhiro Adachi are the only two players in the set who played in the 1950's.  Most of the Hankyu stars from the 60's and later are in the set though, including Hisashi Yamada, Yutaka Fukumoto, Atsushi Nagaike, Koji Minoda and Hideji Katoh.  The Orix players include So Taguchi, Yoshitomu Tani, Junichi Fukura, Hiromi Matsunaga, Satoshi Nakajima, Shigetoshi Hasegawa and Nobuyuki Hoshino.  Boomer Wells is the only foreign player in the set.  There are three players included who are still active in NPB with other teams - Yoshio Itoi (Tigers), Chihiro Kaneko (Fighters) and Yuki Nishi (Tigers).

The biggest name missing from the set is, of course, Ichiro.  Ichiro has not appeared in a BBM set since 2009 although he's been in several Epoch sets lately (including the "Buffaloes Stars & Legends" set that came out at almost the same time as this set).  I don't know this for a fact but I'm guessing that he has an exclusive deal with Epoch.  Takeo Kajimoto, Jiro Noguchi, Brad Lesley, Bobby Marcano and Daryl Spencer are also missing from the set, probably because they've passed away.  Chico Barbon and Kazuhiro Kiyohara, both of whom are still alive and could sign autographs, are also not in the set.  The set also doesn't have any cards for managers (unless they played for the team like Fukura and Nakajima) so there are no cards for Akira Ohgi, Yukio Nishimoto, Toshiharu Ueda or Leon Lee.

The cards themselves are beautiful, just like the ones in the previous sets.  Once again, BBM has done a great job of digging up photos that mostly haven't been used in other sets.  Here's some examples:










The subset for the active players once again seems like an afterthought.  These cards again use a similar design to the OB player cards but have a dark blue tinted background.  For some of the other sets I got a sense that BBM was doing some fan service by including popular players who weren't necessarily contributing much any more but for this set I feel like they really picked what are probably the top 12 players on the team - Ryoichi Adachi, Shuhei Fukuda, Yoshihisa Hirano, Hiroya Miyagi, Yuma Mune, T-Okada, Yutaro Sugimoto, Daiki Tajima, Kenya Wakatsuki, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Taisuke Yamaoka and Masataka Yoshida.



You can see the entire set over at Jambalaya.

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