Friday, September 15, 2023

2023 BBM 2nd Version set

2023 BBM 2nd Version Set Summary

Size: 330 cards (cards numbered 337-600, the 30 cards of "Ceremonial First Pitch" subset are separately numbered FP01-FP30 and 36 cards for the "Cross Moon" subset are separately numbered CM37-CM72)
Cards Per Team: 19 (team card + 18 players)
Team Card Theme: Early Season Candids
Number Of Leader Cards: N/A
Checklists: 0
Subsets: 1st Version Update (36), Ceremonial First Pitch (30), Cross Moon (36)
Inserts: Mr Franchise (12), Fireworks (24), Kirinji (24), Combo Cross Foil Signing (12, #'d to 10), Treasure (12, #'d to 25), Foil Picturesque (12, #'d to 15)
Memorabilia Cards: Jersey cards for Kosei Shoji, Kota Yazawa and Shion Matsui plus a combination jersey card featuring all three of them.  I'm guessing that these are serially numbered and there's a rarer patch version of all of them but BBM's checklist doesn't indicate that.  There are autographed cards for players that use a landscape version of the "Cross Moon" cards that have print runs between 5 and 30 cards and other autograph cards that are #'d between 3 and 5.  There are autographed versions of sixteen of the "Ceremonial First Pitch" cards with print runs between 24 and 55 with a silver parallel autographed version that are #'d to 5.  There are also 8 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.
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.  12 addition cards have a "Super Ultra Secret: version which is a yet even more short printed photo variation.  108 of the "regular" and "1st Version Update" cards have SEVEN different facsimile autograph parallels - silver (unnumbered), gold (#'d to 100), blue (#'d to 75), hologram (#'d to 50), red (#'d to 25), purple (#'d to 10) and sky blue (1-of-1).  Each of these 108 cards also have a "kira" parallel - no signature but just a "kira" finish.  Note - the various "Secret" versions do not have the parallels.  Each "Cross Moon" 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 "Fireworks" inserts have seven parallels - "Gold" (#'d to 300), "Kiwi Green" (#'d to 200), "Blue" (#'d to 100), "Holo" (#'d to 50), "Red" (#'d to 25), "Royal Purple" (#'d to 10) and "Sky Blue" (1-of-1).  There are four parallels for the "Kirinji" inserts - "Gold" (#'d to 200), "Light Green" (#'d to 100), "Shrinking Gold" (#'d to 50) and "Shrinking Light Green" (#'d to 25).  The "Mr Franchise" inserts also have four parallels - "Gold" (#'d to 200), "Green" (#'d to 100), "Blue" (#'d to 50) and "Pink" (#'d to 25).
Notable Rookies: Tokumasa Chano, Hayate Matsui

BBM released their 2nd Version set, the middle installment of their annual three flagship sets back in the first week or so of August.  I received my set last week but I'm just now getting around to writing about it.

There aren't any surprises with this set as it pretty much follows the pattern of almost all the 2nd Version sets going back to 2015 - 216 "regular" player cards with 18 cards per team?  Check!  12 team checklist cards?  Check!  36 "1st Version Update" cards?  Check!  36 "Cross Something" cards?  Check and in this case Something is "Moon".  A random collection of Japanese celebrities throwing out the first pitch at a game?  Check!  The base set has a total of either 300 or 330 depending on whether you want to count the 30 short printed "First Pitch Ceremony" cards as part of the base set.

The regular player cards in the set look...ok, I guess.  Don't get me wrong, I like designs with mostly borderless photos but there's something that kind of annoys me about this design.  Maybe it's the big uniform number that dominates the nameplate part of the card.  I think this might have looked better moving the number to the lower right corner next to the nameplate rather than superimposed over the top of it.  The photos are a bit of a mixed bag as well - not nearly as many interesting photos as 1st Version had.  I do like that they have a number of horizontally formatted cards.  Here's some examples:







Here's what the backs look like - they the player's stats from this season up until May 15th:

35 of the 216 players with "regular" cards did not appear in 1st Version.  Most of these are Japanese players who had maybe more of an impact on the first two months of the season than BBM had expected while some of the others are new foreign players like Frank Schwindel and Jharel Cotton of Orix.  As always I'm not sure why BBM decides to give some players who weren't in 1st Version "regular" 2nd Version cards and others "1st Version Update" cards although I kind of feel like BBM treats the "1st Version Update" cards as more of the "cards of record" for a player so I think they try to put the "bigger" players there.

That's a good segue into the "1st Version Update" subset.  The "1st Version Update" subset contains 36 cards (3 per team) using the 1st Version design featuring players who didn't appear in that set.  A couple of these are new foreign players - Luis Perdomo of Lotte, Marwin Gonzalez of Orix - but there's a lot fewer of those this year than there's been the last couple seasons.  The subset also includes Ariel Martinez of the Fighters who I think didn't make the 1st Version set since he was playing in the WBC for Cuba and Hirokazu Sawamura of Lotte who apparently signed with the team too late for 1st Version.  None of the guys who are most likely to win the Rookie Of The Year awards - Shunpeita Yamashita of Orix, Shoki Murakami of Hanshin and Yuto Akihiro of Yomiuri - were in 1st Version but all three show up in this subset.  There's a number of veterans included like Shingo Kawabata of Yakult, Yuito Mori and Ryuya Kurihara of Softbank, Ryuhei Matsuyama of the Carp and Kazuki Mishima of DeNA.  There's a couple former development (ikusei) players who were moved to their team's 70 man roster.  Two of them - Hayate Matsui of Yomiuri and Takumasa Chano of Orix - were 2022 draft picks and so feature the "rookie" icon on the front of their cards.  Here's a couple examples from this subset:




Once again the theme for the team cards can best be described as "Early Season Highlights".  A little more than half of them appear to show a post game victory celebration:


For the roughly billionth year in a row, BBM has done a cross set subset and this year's iteration is called "Cross Moon".  Half of it was in the 1st Version set and the other half is in this one.  As I said when I wrote about it in my post on the 1st Version set, the "Cross Moon" cards aren't unattractive but I'm more than ready for BBM to move onto the their next gimmick.


At 30 cards, I think this year's "First Pitch Ceremony" subset is the largest one ever.  This is the fourth time that the subset has been short printed and it probably accounted for 40 to 50 per cent of the 5000 yen I paid for the set.  As usual most of the people in the subset are Japanese celebrities who have no relationship to baseball although I was pleased that four cards featured baseball subjects - Randy Bass, Hideki Kuriyama, Hideki Matsui and Wakana Mori of the Tigers' Women's Team.  The other celebrities are Idols Shiori Kubo and Haruka Kaki from Nogizaka46 and Karen Hara from NMB48; Gravure Idols Risa Yukihira and Honoka; actors Akiyoshi Nakao, Katsuhiro Higo and Junpei Mizobata; actresses Rika Adachi, Yuna Taira, Ayano Kudo, Minami Sakuma and Akane Sakanoue; singers Nanase Aikawa and Marina Kawano; voice actors Ryota Osaka, Yuki Ono and Machico (the latter two are also singers); comedian Keisuke Okada; comedy duo Pekopa; YouTubers Toshimitsu (from Tokai On Air) and Koyakky's Studio; MMA fighter Hideo Tokoro; climber Yoki Tanaka; golfer Kumiko Kaneda and figure skater Kaori Sakamoto.  Several of these celebrities were in earlier "First Version Ceremony" subsets - Kubo was in 2020 Fusion and 2021 2nd Version, Honoka was in 2022 2nd Version, Rika Adachi was in 2013 2nd Version; Kudo was in 2017 and 2022 2nd Version; Sakamoto was in 2019 2nd Version and Okada was in 2009 2nd Version.  Here's a couple examples from this subset:




You can see all the cards over at Jambalaya.  I also need to point out that Jason has translated the checklist and put it up at the Trading Card Database - I found it very helpful in identifying all the memorabilia, autograph and parallel cards.


Anonymous said...

Will Bauer have no cards released from his time in Yokohama?

NPB Card Guy said...

It's really weird that he hasn't had any cards. I really don't know what's going on.

Anonymous said...

Is it possible he has something in his contract that doesn’t allow it?

Jason Presley said...

Most surprising to me is that he didn't even get an Epoch One card for his debut.

NPB Card Guy said...

I think it's entirely possible he has something in his contract for some reason. And I agree with you, Jason, I kind of expected that he'd have had some Epoch One cards.