I bought a bunch of Japanese baseball packs at the 2012 National (as some of you may remember), and I’ve been slowly going through them. The latest pack is 2009 BBM 1st Version. Here’s the pack front:
The ‘e’, ‘s’ and ‘o’ in ‘Version’ look sort of blueish gray in the scan, but they’re just ink-free letters that let the silvery wrapper plastic show through. It’s only slightly easier to read than what the scan shows.
Unlike some of the previous packs I’ve opened, this wrapper seems less foil-like and more like the mylar we all know and love. Here’s the back, English readers need not apply:
…So let’s, as the pack says, enjoy 2009 professional baseball with BBM Cards!
First card, Hideaki Wakui of the Lions.
The design is pretty nice, but almost too subtle. The cards have a nice gloss to them.
Here’s the back of the Wakui card:
Hey, look, I got a Tanaka! …Not the Yankees’ Tanaka, though…
Nice candid shot of Kyoshi Toyoda.
I’m going to officially have an issue with these cards, because I have a hard time reading the unfamiliar names, especially the first name.
Oh, look, a rookie card! A Japanese rookie card from five years ago almost guarantees that it’s not somebody who will have graced these shores with our presence.
Someone more familiar NPB can feel free to correct me, but I seem to remember that each team uses one set of uniform numbers between their NPB team and their AAA equivalent, so if someone gets called up from the minors, they pretty much keep the same uniform (at least within a particular season). That might be why Hashimoto is wearing #94, and I think that’s also why you sometimes see coaches, batting practice pitcheres and the like wearing numbers over 99.
This card also gives us a good look at how the Giants’ batting helmet has a matte finish and the logo is made of flocking that’s glued to the helmet. Fun stuff.
Rookie of the year preview! That’s a decent-looking card…
Another nice shot.
I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ve long been a fan of the Tigers caps & helmets when they have the yellow bill and “H”. Having two different colors in the cap logo is something I think should be done more, only the Twins currently do it in MLB (off the top of my head).
Allllriiiiiiight! Gaijin Time!
And it’s Dicky Gonzalez, a former Met (for one season). Dicky is a 9-year NPB veteran, but his last statistics are for the Marines last season. Hurt? Retired? Dunno.
I love this card, it’s so Japanese.
What do you think would happen if a bunch of Yankees were to toss Derek Jeter in the air? I’d love to find out.
To be honest, I’d be happy if, in Jeter’s last trip to a city, he got the kind of “going away” celebration that you or I would get. You know, a sheet cake from Kroger, maybe get taken to Applebee’s for lunch. But no, now everybody’s obligated to give him a gift that looks like it was a “Showcase” on The Price Is Right.
…But I digress…
I still have a few more of these random Japanese packs, and I should pick up the pace a little bit so that I can get through them before the 2016 National in Atlantic City (the next one I have a reasonable chance of attending).