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.


Anonymous said...

The set is too small.

Exactly ...


NPB Card Guy said...

While I'd love for them to go back to 40 players per team like they did between 1994 and 2001 (and also 2005), I'd settle for the 35 players per team they did between 2006 and 2010.

Sean said...

Those photos do look better than Calbee's, I'll give them that.

I find that "Cross Grotto" subset to be kind of .....odd. Not bad, not good, just odd. I'm having trouble wrapping my mind around the idea of cards featuring players in an undersea grotto surrounded by big shiny crystals. Its sort of like they were deliberately looking for a theme that had the least possible connection to baseball to use.