BBM issued the latest in their "History" series of OB team sets in late September. This one was for the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks and is officially titled "Hawks History 1938-2022". This is the eighth "History" set BBM has published over the past 2 1/2 years, following ones for the Carp
in 2020, the Dragons
last year and the Swallows
earlier this year. I had kind of expected that BBM would do at least one more this year but it doesn't look like that's happening.
The set itself follows the same pattern established by the seven earlier sets. It has a 90 card base set that's split into three parts - eight "Hawks History" cards, 70 OB Hawks cards and 12 cards for active Hawks players.
The eight "Hawks History" cards detail the history of the team from its founding as the Nankai Hawks in Osaka in 1938 through the team's sale to Daiei and the move to Fukuoka after 1988 and their subsequent sale to Softbank prior to the 2005 season. Each card covers a nine to thirteen year period with a listing of the team's finishes during that period on the back and a photo representing something about the time period on the front. Here's an example card for the team's first decade in Fukuoka (1989-1998) that shows the opening of Fukuoka Dome in 1993:
The 70 OB Hawks players are, as usual, dominated by players active in the 1970's and later since they're around to sign autographs. As far as I can tell, there's only two deceased players in the set - Katsuya Nomura and Mutsuo Minagawa. The set includes players from the Nankai (such as Nomura, Minagawa, Yoshihisa Hirose and Hiromitsu Kadota), Daiei (Koji Akiyama, Kimiyasu Kudoh, Kenji Johjima, Tadahito Iguchi, Hiroki Kokubo, Nobuhiko Matsunaka) and Softbank eras (Munenori Kawasaki, Toshiya Sugiuchi, Tadashi Settsu). There's one OB Hawks in the set who was still active in 2022 with another team - Seiichi Uchikawa was on the Swallows this past season. There's only one card of someone who managed the team without have played for them - Sadaharu Oh.
The biggest names I could think of who were missing from the set were guys from the Nankai era who had passed away like Tadashi Sugiura, Kazuto Tsuruoka and Nobuyuki Kagawa. There are no foreign players in the set so Joe Stanka is missing. Yutaka Enatsu is not in the set but I think he's got some sort of exclusive deal with Epoch as he shows up in some of their sets frequently but hasn't been in a BBM set since 2014.
Like the previous sets, this set really look good. The card format is very attractive - it's essentially the same design the other seven sets use. BBM dug up a lot of interesting photos for all the players and I think there's only two black and white photos in the OB cards. Here's a bunch of examples:
I always feel like the cards for the active players are kind of an afterthought and this set's no different. The active players include Kodai Senga, Yuki Yanagita, Nobuhiro Matsuda and Tsuyoshi Wada. Here's Yanagita's card as an example:
You can check out all the cards in the set over at Jambalaya
I do love that opening day of the Fukuoka Dome card. I wonder if they ever opened the Dome roof again after that photo was taken (I lived in Fukuoka for four years and don't think they opened it once the whole time I was there).
Post a Comment