Sunday, May 29, 2022

Card Of The Week May 29

Interleague play started last week and the most interesting of the six opening series were the three games between the Fighters and Swallows played at Jingu Stadium.  On Tuesday the Fighters had shutout the Swallows through the first seven innings behind the strong pitching of Takayuki Katoh but had only managed to score one run off of Yakult's pitching.  Pinch hitter Soma Uchiyama hit a solo home run to tie the game up in the bottom of the eighth.  The game remained tied until the bottom of the eleventh inning when Munetaka Murakami hit a two run walk off home run to win the game for the Swallows 3-1.

The next night the Fighters had a 3-0 lead after six innings but the Swallows scored three in the bottom of the seventh to tie it up.  The Fighters scored once in the top of the eighth but the Swallows matched it in the bottom of the eighth.  Nippon-Ham then scored twice in the top of the ninth to take a 6-4 lead but lightning struck again, this time in the form of Kotaro Yamasaki hitting a walk off three run home run for  7-6 Swallows win.

Thursday night saw the Fighters get revenge.  The Swallows lead 4-2 after seven innings and 5-3 after eight but the Fighters tied the game in the top of the ninth on back-to-back solo home runs from  Chusei Mannami and Arismendy Alcantara.  Nippon-Ham exploded for four runs in the top of the tenth - two of which came off a two run shot from Alcantara - and held off Yakult in the bottom of the inning (the Swallows did get a run) for a 9-6 win.

I thought I'd show cards of the two Swallows sayonara home run hitters - Murakami and Yamasaki.  I'd show Alcantara too but I don't have any cards of him yet.

2019 BBM 1st Version "Beginning" #B08

2021 BBM 1st Version #316

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

2022 BBM 1st Version Set

 2022 BBM 1st Version Set Summary

Size: 372 cards numbered 1-336, CG01-CG36
Cards Per Team:  28 (team card, manager + 26 players)
Team Card Theme:  Spring Training
Number Of Leader Cards:  N/A
Checklists:  None
Subsets:  Cross Grotto (36)
Inserts:  Japonism (12), Promising Youth (12), Amazing (24, #'d to 50), 3D Cross Grotto (12, #'d to 25), Cross Foil Signing (6 - all Giants, #'d to 15)
Memorabilia Cards: Jersey cards for Shugo Maki and Hiromi Itoh.  Each jersey card is serially numbered to 200 plus a parallel patch version numbered to 30.  There is also a combination jersey card numbered to 10 with a parallel patch version numbered to 5.  There are four different types of autographed card available - "Cross Signature" (which includes several cards with multiple autographs), "Special Signature", "Japonism" and "Buyback Autographs".  The last features "buyback" BBM cards for 14 players and managers - Shingo Takatsu, Yasuhiro Ogawa, Kazuyoshi Tatsunami, Yohei Ohshima, Daisuke Miura, Shota Imanaga, Satoshi Nakajima, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Tadahito Iguchi, Takashi Ogino, Hiroshi Fujimoto, Nobuhiro Matsuda, Naoki Miyamoto and Hatsuhiko Tsuji.
Parallels:  12 regular player cards have a "secret" short printed alternate photo version.  Another 12 have an "ultra secret" much more rare short printed alternate photo version .  108 regular players cards (9 per team) have six facsimile autograph parallels - silver, gold (#'d to 100), holograph (#'d to 50), red (#'d to 25), purple (#'d to 10) and sky blue (1 of 1) - this includes the "secret" versions of the cards as well (and I assume the numbering is separate but I don't know that for sure).  Additionally each of the 108 cards also has a "kira" parallel.  77 of the rookie cards (which I think is all of them) have five numbered parallel versions - "Silver Board" (numbered to 200), "Holo Silver Board" (numbered to 100), "Green Foil" (numbered to 50), "Holo Foil" (numbered to 25) and "Sky Blue Foil" (1 of 1).  Some of the 108 cards with the seven different parallels are rookie cards so some of the rookie cards have 12 different parallel versions!  The "Cross Grotto" cards have two parallel versions - "Holo paper" (numbered to 100) and  "1 of 1".  There are two parallel versions for the "Promising Youth" inserts - "gold leaf" (#'d to 200) and "green foil" (#'d to 100).  I think there are parallels of the "Japonism" inserts but I don't think they're serially numbered.
Notable Rookies:  Kou Matsukawa, Taisei Ota, Chihiro Sumida

The 2022 edition of BBM's 1st Version set (which is basically the first half or so of their flagship set but can stand on it's own) was released in mid-April.  I've had my set for about two weeks now but I'm just getting around to writing about it now.  For the eighth year in a row the base set has 372 cards - 324 "regular" cards for the players and managers (27 per team), 12 team checklist cards and 36 cross set subset cards - this year's theme is "Cross Grotto".

For the third year in a row I've been quite happy with the photos used in the set.  BBM's been getting a pretty good variety of shots in their flagship sets lately after a number of years of very dull photos.  Here's a bunch of examples:










While I like the fronts of the cards, the backs look pretty much the same as they have for a number of years:

#113 (Yudai Ohno)

I do have some minor complaints about the set.  The first is my usual gripe that the set is too small.  With only 26 player cards for each team and BBM's insistence on having cards for the entire rookie class, most teams are really only represented by 20-ish established players.  The Fighters went nine deep in last fall's draft so there's only 17 cards for veteran Fighters players, meaning that guys like Chihiro Kaneko, Go Matsumoto and Kenta Uehara were left out.  

My second complaint is really not BBM's fault - there's no cards of any foreign players who are new to NPB for 2022.  I assume this is because many of the players were delayed getting into the country for training camp but there are no cards in the set for Gregory Polanco, Ryan McBroom, Brian O'Grady or Jesse Biddle among others.  BBM had similar issues last year so I expect that most of these players will be in the "Update" subset in the 2nd Version set later in the year.

My final complaint is that this card is not labeled "BigBoss" - although in fairness to BBM, he didn't register the name until just before the season started which was a month or so after the set went to press:


Once again the theme on the team checklist cards is "training camp" and they're OK although not may of them are particularly memorable.  I like the rainbow on the Marines card and the Hiroshi Fujimoto moon bounce on the Hawks one:



For what seems the hundredth time, BBM has included a "cross set subset" - half of the subset is in this set while the other half will be in the 2nd version set.  This year's theme is "Cross Grotto" and the cards all feature a player superimposed on a background depicting an undersea grotto with big crystals:


There are 36 "Cross Grotto" cards (three per team) and they are numbered separately from the rest of the set.  I was going to say that for the first time ever the backs of the cards didn't just show the photo of the player with the original background but also included some of the style elements of the theme but I realized that they had actually started this last year:


Along with the base set I also picked up the "Promising Youth" insert set.  This 12 card set depicts a...uh...promising young player from each team.  Eight of the players included in the set are rookies.  Of the four non-rookies only one of them (Ryoto Kita of Orix) has a regular card in the set - the rest I assumed were squeezed out by the 2022 rookie class.  The cards are very shiny which may not come across well in the scan:


As always you can see all the cards along with many of the inserts and parallels over at Jambalaya.

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Card Of The Week May 22

Akira Neo was one of the top high school prospects going into the 2018 NPB draft.  He was a two-way player with the powerhouse Osaka Toin team, playing pitcher, shortstop and outfield depending on the situation.  He and his team took part in several Koshien tournaments - both the spring and summer versions - including spring championships in both 2017 and 2018 and a summer championship in 2018.  He was chosen by four teams in the draft - the Dragons, Fighters, Hawks and Giants - and the Dragons won the lottery for his rights.  Chunichi signed him with the intention of him playing shortstop for the team.

There's been a problem, however, with the plan - Neo doesn't appear to be able to hit as a professional.  He spent almost all of 2019 with the farm team and hit .209 in 110 games.  He was called up to the ichi-gun level at the end of the season and went hitless in two games.  He hit .238 in 80 games at ni-gun in 2020 and just .087 in nine games with the top team that season.  Last year he didn't break the Mendoza Line at either level - he hit .178 in 72 games with the top team and .157 in 34 games down on the farm (although he did hit a grand slam for his first career home run at ichi-gun).  This year so far he's hitting .241 in the minors and .188 with the top team.  The Dragons have tried moving him to the outfield but it doesn't appear to have helped much.   His career average in ichi-gun is .188 in 100 games.  

Perhaps in desperation to get some value out of Neo, the Dragons have resorted to a novel approach - maybe he can pitch!  He made an appearance on the mound for the farm team a few weeks ago against the Tigers and the results weren't very good - he faced five hitters over 2/3 of an inning, giving up a run on three hits although he recorded a strikeout and reportedly hit 150 kph (~93 mph) with a pitch.

Yesterday the Dragons were in the process of being blown out by the Carp for the second consecutive day.  Down 10-1 going into the eighth inning, Chunichi manager Kazuyoshi Tatsunami decided to spare his beleaguered bullpen and summoned Neo to take the mound.  He did reasonably well in his ichi-gun pitching debut, giving up a single to the first batter he faced but then retiring the next three (although he didn't strike out anyone and it's possible the Carp were just tired from all the base-running they'd been doing the two previous games).  He did hit 150 kph a couple of times though.  It'll be interesting to see how this goes and whether the Dragons will continue to use him as a two way player or make him exclusively a pitcher.  While I can think of several recent examples of NPB players who started out as pitchers and then converted to position players (Kazuya Fukuura, Yoshio Itoi, Yuhei Takai, Ryuji Miyade, Fumikazu Kimura), I haven't been able to come up with anyone who went the other direction.

Here's Neo's 2019 Epoch One card (#666/CD-058) commemorating his ichi-gun debut on September 29th - I expect there'll be one for his pitching debut released later this week:

Monday, May 16, 2022

2022 Calbee Series One

When I did my post about what I called the "10 Worst NPB Sets Of All Time" (which was really just my least favorite sets) about a month ago, Sean commented that while he was initially surprised I didn't list any Calbee sets in the post, he soon came to the realization that recent Calbee sets are just mediocre but not truly bad.  I responded that I like to think of Calbee as "steady" as opposed to mediocre.  But now that I have the first Calbee set of 2022 in my hands, I may have to reconsider.

But first let's hit the basics.  Calbee's Series One set came out at the end of March and is the first of three sets that Calbee is expected to issue this year (like almost every other year in recent memory).  The base set has 95 cards - 72 "regular" cards (12 per team), 19 "Title Holder" cards and four checklist cards.  Since this is an even numbered year, the player's name on the front of the "regular" card is in Japanese but otherwise the cards look pretty much like they did last year and the year before that and the year before that and the year before that....and so on back to about 1998.

Which really isn't a problem to me - I actually really like the spartan design of the Calbee cards.  I like my baseball cards with full bleed photos and a minimum of distraction.  However, I also like them with interesting photos and that's where this year's Series One set really falls flat.

Now both Sean and I have beaten up on Calbee's photo selection quite a bit in recent years.  There's generally way too many cards with "pitchers pitching, batters batting and catchers catching" and not nearly enough of anything else.  But this particular set seems to have really outdone the usual Calbee dullness.  There really isn't an interesting photo to be had in the entire set.  Almost all of them are either "pitchers pitching" or "batters batting" - there's exactly two "catchers catching" (Tomoya Mori and Yuhei Nakamura).  There aren't even any cards that use a horizontal design to break up the monotony.

The player selection is pretty weak as well.  Since Calbee doesn't usually have multiple cards of a player in the same Series and the "Title Holder" subset has some of the major stars, there's not a lot of big names in the "regular" player cards.  The biggest names are probably Mori, Takeya Nakamura, Takehiro Norimoto, Ryosuke Kikuchi and Norichika Aoki.  To be fair - it's not unusual for Series One to be light on stars and Series Two and Three will most likely make up for it.  But Calbee also didn't include any rookies in this set or any players who switched teams over the winter.  In fact I'm fairly confident that all the photos were taken last season - especially since the Fighters are all shown in their old uniforms (although the team logo has been updated).  Here's some example cards:

#013 (Naoki Yoshikawa)

#036 (Edwin Escobar)

#068 (Tomoya Mori)

#063 (Toshihiro Sugiura)

#020 (Masato Morishita)

#058 (Ryoya Kurihara)

The "Title Holder" subset includes cards of 19 players who either won awards or led their league in some statistical category last or did both.  As I mentioned before, this subset includes several of the bigger stars in NPB right now - Munetaka Murakami, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Kazuma Okamoto, Masataka Yoshida and Koji Chokamoto.  It does not include any league leaders who departed for MLB in the offseason so there's no cards for the Central League batting champion (Seiya Suzuki) or saves leader (Robert Suarez).  


The four checklist cards show highlights from late last season as well as the post-season.  There's a card for the Swallows winning the Nippon Series, the Buffaloes winning the Pacific League pennant, Leonys Martin hitting a game-tying home run in Game Two of the First Stage of the PL Climax Series which eventually resulted in the Marines beating the Eagles in that Stage and Yuki Nishi getting his 100th career win on September 10th.  The cards for the Swallows and the Buffaloes are the only cards in the set that use a horizontal layout.


The backs of the checklist cards are also the only place in the set that mentions that this is the 50th year that Calbee's been doing baseball card sets - there's a little circle that says "50" (even though it kind of looks like it says "58") next to the "2022" in the Calbee logo:

So obviously I'm kind of disappointed with this set but I expect that the later two sets this year will be better.  Last year Series One was pretty unimpressive but Series Two was an improvement and Series Three was even better.  Let's hope history repeats itself this year.

As always you can see all the cards - including the "Star" and "Legend" inserts and the related limited "Clutch Hitter" box set - over at Jambalaya.  You know, in case you need a cure for insomnia.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

RIP David West

Former Fukuoka Daiei Hawk pitcher David West has passed away from cancer at age 57.  West was a top prospect in the Mets organization in the 1980's who was traded to the Twins in 1989 in the Frank Viola deal.  He spent a couple years with Minnesota, winning a World Series title in 1991 before going to the Phillies in 1993 in time to appear in another World Series.  He and the Phillies parted ways after the 1996 season and he spent 1997 in Japan with the Hawks, going 8-5 in 19 starts with a 6.38(!) ERA.  He returned to North America in 1998 and played in Houston's and Boston's organizations before finishing his career by splitting 1999 between the Dodger's organization and the independent Atlantic League's Lehigh Valley Black Diamonds.  Here's his only Japanese card I have of him (the only other one I know of is from the 1997 BBM Diamond Heroes set):

1997 BBM #244

This one hits a little close to home as he and I are almost exactly the same age - my birthday is just a few days before his.

Card Of The Week May 15

Ho, hum, another week, another Card Of The Week involving a no-hitter or near no-hitter...

On Wednesday of last week, Hawks pitcher Nao Higashihama threw a no-hitter against the Lions.  He struck out six and walked two but erased both base runners on double plays so he faced the minimum 27 batters.  Higashihama's gem came just hours after Reid Detmers of the Angels no-hit the Rays making it the first time there was a no-hitter in MLB and NBP on the same day (well, same day in Japan although not the US) since July 21st, 1957 when Bob Keegan of the White Sox no-hit the Senators (July 20th in the States) and Masaichi Kaneda of the Swallows threw a perfect game against the Dragons.

Higashihama was Softbank's first round pick out of Asia University in the 2012 draft and to some extent overshadowed by several of the other picks in that draft - namely Shohei Ohtani, Seiya Suzuki, Tomoyuki Sugano, Takehiro Norimoto and even Shintaro Fujinami.  I've always kind of unfairly thought of him simply as the "other guy" who with Ohtani had a promo version of their cards from the 2013 BBM Rookie Edition set in Sports Card Magazine #97:

But which of the 2012 draft picks did SCM actually have an interview with in the magazine?  Was it Ohtani?  Sugano, the nephew of the 2012 Nippon Series winning manager?  Nope, it was Higashihama.  Here's his card that was issued with the magazine (SCM #207):

Saturday, May 14, 2022

20 Years Of Rookie Edition

Every year since 2003 BBM has released the Rookie Edition set which contains all (or most) of the players taken in the NPB draft the previous fall*.  With the 2022 edition of the set being the 20th, I thought a post celebrating this milestone would be in order.

*Obviously only the players who sign with the team that drafted them are in the sets but it's relatively rare in Japan that a player doesn't sign.

While Topps included draft pick cards in their flagship set starting in 1989 and both Classic and Front Row put out draft pick sets in 1990, the first draft pick cards in NPB weren't until 1999.  Issue #13 of Sports Card Magazine (SCM), released in January of 1999, included a card of Koji Uehara, the Giants' first pick in the 1998 draft.  While this was just a one-off - there were no cards of any other draft picks in that issue - it established the pattern that pretty much all NPB draft pick cards would follow - it used a photo from the Giants' press conference to introduce the new draft class.  Each NPB team holds a press conference after they sign all their draft picks to formally introduce the new players and it is photos from this event that are used on NPB draft pick cards as opposed to MLB draft pick cards that might use a photo of the player in his amateur uniform or even his high school graduation photo.  The other thing that it did that all BBM draft pick cards would also do is it referred to the draft as the "1999 draft" when it was actually the 1998 draft - this confused me for YEARS.

1999 SCM #1

BBM issued a set later in 1999 called "Mr Giants '99" that was a biographical set for Shigeo Nagashima.  It included a nine card subset called something like "1st Draft Pick" and showed Nagashima with the first round pick of the Giants for some of the years that he was the team's manager - including his stint in the 1970's.  I don't have all these cards but most of the ones I do have feature photos taken at the introductory press conference each year.

1999 BBM Mr Giants '99 #G94

BBM included draft pick cards for the first round picks from the 1999 draft of all twelve teams in the 2000 Preview set.  This was the time that draftees from the most recent draft were available out of a pack.  BBM had to make a slight change with the 2001 Preview set - the BlueWave's top pick in the 2000 draft Tetsuya Utsumi had refused to sign with them as he wanted to be a Giant.  The 2001 Preview set includes the first round pick for the other eleven teams and the second round pick for Orix.  The 2001 draft presented another challenge for BBM - there was a "free acquisition" phase where a team could sign one or two amateur players directly without having to draft him - using this would cause a team to forfeit their first and third round picks for signing one player and their first, second and third round picks if they signed two players.  Five teams took advantage of this rule change so instead of labelling the cards "Draft No. 1 Pick" (or "Draft No. 2 Pick" in that one case) as they had for the 2000 and 2001 Preview sets, the 2002 Preview set labeled the draft pick cards "The Brightest Hope".

1999 BBM Preview #P128

2001 BBM Preview #P30

2002 BBM Preview #P10

BBM did away with the Preview set in 2003 and replaced it with a set that would expand the draft pick subset to include all the players taken in the 2002 NPB draft.  The first Rookie Edition set would contain 152 cards - 90 cards for the 2002 draft picks, 60 cards (5 per team) labeled "Regular" that showed current players in their rookie seasons and two checklist cards.  This established the pattern that all Rookie Edition sets would follow - all of the draft picks plus one or more subsets featuring established players.  With 62, that first set had the highest number of non-draft pick cards of any of the sets - for the past 12 years the sets have had only 12 to 14 non-draft pick cards.

I've prepared the following table which breaks down each set and lists some of the biggest names in each set (although my criteria was pretty arbitrary).  I'll just highlight a couple things:

- The 2005 set was the first set that was missing a player who had signed with the team that had drafted him.  Michael Nakamura had come to Japan after the 2004 season and tried out for both the Fighters and Marines.  He had decided to sign with the Marines but the team suggested that since he had mixed Australian and Japanese heritage he make himself eligible for the draft so he wouldn't count as a foreign player.  The Fighters surprised everyone though by drafting him instead.  I don't know for sure but I think Nakamura took a while to decide to sign with the Fighters and therefore wasn't able to be included in the set.  BBM issued a "bonus" Rookie Edition card of Nakamura in issue #50 of SCM in March that year.

- Following the 2005 season, NPB started allowing teams to sign "training" players who would not count against the team's 70 man roster.  These "ikusei" players could play in farm team (ni-gun) games but could not play in ichi-gun games unless they were signed to an official contract and placed on the 70 man roster.  NPB introduced a draft for ikusei players in 2005 but BBM did not include these players in the Rookie Edition set until the 2009 set (for the 2008 draft).  I suspect but again don't know for sure that they were inspired to include the ikusei players when Tetsuya Yamaguchi of the Giants won the Central League Rookie Of The Year award in 2008, becoming the first former ikusei player to ever win the award.  History repeated itself the following year when another former ikusei player for the Giants, Tetsuya Matsumoto, won the award.  There were other players taken in the ikusei drafts between 2005 and 2007 who eventually earned spots on 70 man rosters but Yamaguchi and Matsumoto are the most significant ones who Rookie Edition missed.

- In their first set with the drafted ikusei players, BBM also included two Chinese players that the Baystars had signed to ikusei contracts.  The players - Wang Jing-chao and Chen Wei - had both been on the 2009 WBC roster for China, although Chen didn't actually play in the tournament.  The pair spent two years with the Baystars but neither of them made the 70 man roster.  They were the first (and I think so far only) Chinese players to ever sign with an NPB team.  UPDATE - they actually were not the first Chinese players.  I think it was Xu An who was a development player for the Giants in 2006.

- The 2013 set is the only other Rookie Edition set to be missing a player who signed with his drafted team.  Makoto Aiuchi, the Lions' second round pick, was arrested in December of 2012 for speeding and driving without a proper license and didn't actually sign his contract with the Lions until late March, much too late to be included in the Rookie Edition set.  Unlike Nakamura, BBM never issued a "bonus" Rookie Edition card for him in SCM.  UPDATE - I forgot that Shota Ohmine missed the 2010 set due to his arrest for underage drinking delaying his signing with the Marines until after the set went to press.  BBM didn't issue a "bonus" card for him either.

- The 2013 set contains two cards of Shohei Ohtani, both numbered #42.  One shows him in a pitching pose while the other shows him holding a bat although both cards list his position as "pitcher".  Both cards are as common as any other cards in the set and the complete base set should contain both versions.

- BBM started including "secret versions" of the first round draft picks from the set starting with the 2018 edition.  In contrast to the 2013 Ohtani cards, these are short printed photo variations and are not considered part of the base set.  My feeling is they're kind of redundant since the variation is just a different photo from the introductory press conference.

- 2005 wasn't the only time there were "bonus" SCM cards for a Rookie Edition set although that was the only time the "bonus" card was a drafted player.  SCM #73 was published in January of 2009 and included three cards using the 2009 Rookie Edition design.  Two of these were for Sadaharu Oh and Kazuhiro Kiyohara and essentially functioned as promo cards for the biographical sets BBM had just published for each of them.  The third one was for Eri Yoshida, the then-16 year old female knuckleball pitcher who had been taken by the Kobe 9 Cruse in the Kansai Independent Baseball League.  A year later SCM #79 included nine or ten bonus cards that featured a player from the draft classes from 2000 to 2009 on a card using the 2010 Rookie Edition design (I'm not sure if the card for Yusei Kikuchi is a bonus card or just a promo version of his card in the 2010 set).  The cards all have numbers that continue the numbering of the set.  The issues of Sports Card Magazine issued in January each year from 2011 to 2017 included promo cards for each year's Rookie Edition set but these were simply color variants of the corresponding cards in the set.

Year Size Draft Picks Regular Ikusei Significant Players Missing Players Other Cards
2003 152 90 90 0 Tsuyoshi Nishioka, Nagisa Arakaki, Tsuyoshi Wada, Mac Suzuki, Tomotaka Sakaguchi, Shohei Tateyama, Yuhei Takai, Shuichi Murata, Yuya Kubo "Regular" (60), Checklist (2)
2004 121 71 71 0 Yoshihisa Naruse, Takashi Toritani, Yoshio Itoi, Norichika Aoki, Tetsuya Utsumi "Regular" (36), Rookie Year Report (12), Checklist (2)
2005 119 81 81 0 Atsushi Nohmi, Yu Darvish, Chihiro Kaneko, Hideaki Wakui, Takehiro Ishikawa, Yoshiyuki Kamei Michael Nakamura "Regular" (36), New Managers (2)
2006 136 95 95 0 Ryosuke Hirata, Yuichi Honda, Nobuhiro Matsuda, Minoru Iwata, Yamato Maeda, Masaru Takeda, Chung-Shou Yang (Daikan Yoh), Yoshisa Hirano, Takahiro Okada (T-Okada), Ginjiro Sumitani, Ginji Akaminai, Shingo Kawabata, Shun Yamaguchi Tetsuya Yamaguchi (ikusei) "Regular" (36), New Managers (5)
2007 114 88 88 0 Katsuya Kakunaka, Takuya Asao, Yuya Hasegawa, Tsubasa Aizawa, Kenta Maeda, Takayuki Kishi, Motohiro Shima, Masahiro Tanaka, Takayuki Kajitani, Hayato Sakamoto Tetsuya Matsumoto (ikusei) New Age Performer (24), New Managers (2)
2008 100 73 73 0 Akira Nakamura, Yoshihiro Maru, Sho Nakata, Kazuhito Tadano, Toru Murata "Regular" (24), New Managers (3)
2009 126 95 67 28 Tadashi Settsu, Hiroki Uemoto, Shota Ohno, Kenshi Sugiya, Yuki Nishi, Hideto Asamura, Yuhei Nakamura "Regular" (24), New Managers (2), New Team (5) (plus two Baystars ikusei players from China)
2010 114 81 65 16 Takashi Ogino, Yohei Ohshima, Kenta Imamiya, Shota Dohbayashi, Yusei Kikuchi, Yoshitomo Tsutsugoh, Hisayoshi Chono, Shota Ohmine "Regular" (24), New Managers (5), New Team (4)
2011 109 97 68 29 Yudai Ohno, Takuya Kai, Kodai Senga, Yuki Yanagita, Haruki Nishikawa, Yuki Saitoh, Shogo Akiyama, Kazuhisa Makita, Manabu Mima, Tetsuto Yamada, Hirokazu Sawamura "Regular" (12)
2012 111 97 71 26 Naoya Masuda, Daichi Suzuki, Shuhei Takahashi, Shota Takeda, Ryosuke Kikuchi, Yusuke Nomura, Kensuke Kondoh, "Draft Picks" (2), "Regular" (12)
2013 96 82 69 13 Nao Higashihama, Shintaro Fujinami, Seiya Suzuki, Shohei Ohtani, Takahiro Norimoto, Yasuhiro Ogawa, Kazuki Mishima, Toshiro Miyazaki, Tomoyuki Sugano Makoto Aiuchi "Draft Picks" (1), Then & Now (12) (plus second card of Ohtani)
2014 102 89 76 13 Seiya Inoue, Ayumu Ishikawa, Yuito Mori, Ryutaro Umeno, Aren Kuri, Daichi Ohsera, Kosuke Tanaka, Tomoya Mori, Hotaka Yamakawa, Yuki Matsui, Seiji Kobayashi "Draft Picks" (1), Then & Now (12)
2015 117 103 81 22 Shogo Nakamura, Kohei Arihara, Yuma Mune, Kona Takahashi, Shuta Tonosaki, Yasuaki Yamasaki, Kazuma Okamoto "Draft Picks" (2), Then & Now (12)
2016 129 115 88 27 Shinnosuke Ogasawara, Koyo Aoyagi, Yutaro Sugimoto, Masataka Yoshida, Eigoro Mogi, Shota Imanga "Draft Picks" (2), Then & Now (12)
2017 126 114 86 28 Chihaya Sasaki, Yota Kyoda, Yuya Yanagi, Yusuke Ohyama, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Sosuke Genda, Kazuki Tanaka, Haruhiro Hamaguchi, Keita Sano Early Days (12)
2018 126 114 82 32 Yudai Fujioka, Ukyo Shuto, Rei Takahashi, Kotaro Kiyomiya, Daiki Tajima, Kaima Taira, Munetaka Murakami, Yasutaka Shiomi, Katsuki Azuma, Early Days (12)
2019 117 104 83 21 Kyota Fujiwara, Akira Neo, Koji Chikamoto, Chusei Mannami, Taiga Kamichatani, Shosei Togoh "Draft Picks" (1), Early Days (12)
2020 120 107 74 33 Roki Sasaki, Takaya Ishikawa, Junya Nishi, Masato Morishita, Hiroya Miyagi, Yasunobu Okugawa "Draft Picks" (1), Early Days (12)
2021 135 123 74 49 Takumu Nakano, Teruaki Sato, Ryoji Kuribayashi, Hiromi Itoh, Takahisa Hayakawa, Shugo Maki Early Days (12)
2022 141 128 77 51 Kou Matsukawa, Taisei Ota, Chihiro Sumida "Draft Picks" (1), New Face (12)

Here's a representative card from each set. By no means did I pick the most significant player from each set - I just wanted an interesting mix of players and teams:

2003 BBM Rookie Edition #63

2004 BBM Rookie Edition #61

2005 BBM Rookie Edition #12

2006 BBM Rookie Edition #42

2007 BBM Rookie Edition #67

2008 BBM Rookie Edition #24

2009 BBM Rookie Edition #009

2010 BBM Rookie Edition #042

2011 BBM Rookie Edition #046

2012 BBM Rookie Edition #080

2013 BBM Rookie Edition #65

2014 BBM Rookie Edition #011

2015 BBM Rookie Edition #054

2016 BBM Rookie Edition #085

2017 BBM Rookie Edition #051

2018 BBM Rookie Edition #107

2019 BBM Rookie Edition #025

2020 BBM Rookie Edition #033

2021 BBM Rookie Edition #100

2022 BBM Rookie Edition #068