Pack Animal! – 2009 BBM 1st Version

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:
2009 BBM 1st Version Pack

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:
2009 BBM 1st Version Back

…So let’s, as the pack says, enjoy 2009 professional baseball with BBM Cards!

First card, Hideaki Wakui of the Lions.
2009 BBM 1st Version Hideaki Wakui
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:
2009 BBM 1st Version Hideaki Wakui back

Hey, look, I got a Tanaka! …Not the Yankees’ Tanaka, though…
2009 BBM 1st Version Hiroyasu Tanaka

Nice candid shot of Kyoshi Toyoda.
2009 BBM 1st Version Kiyoshi 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.
2009 BBM 1st Version Itaru Hashimoto

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…
2009 BBM 1st Version Rookie Preview Yuta Kimura

Another nice shot.
2009 BBM 1st Version Shinjiro Hiyama
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!
2009 BBM 1st Version Dicky Gonzalez
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.
2009 BBM 1st Version Last Appearance Kazuhiro Kiyhohara
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).



6 thoughts on “Pack Animal! – 2009 BBM 1st Version

  1. Make the name just a touch easier to read and replace the card company logo with the team logo and this would be a really great card design.

  2. BBM has been moving more and more towards an Upper Deck-style design, with full bleed photos and minimal modern elements on the fronts. The BBM logo is essentially the same size and on every card the company produces.

    To answer your question/comment: yes, the minor league players tend to have higher jersey numbers, with the regular squad members generally having numbers in a certain range based on position. Those numbers tend to remain the same with a player during their entire career with a team once they go regular. Players with triple-digit numbers are essentially scrubs at the minor league level. Coaches and managers tend to have high jersey numbers as well – 8 is a lucky number, so 80 or 88 is a common number worn by managers.

    If you or anyone else is interested in getting some random packs I’m glad to help out from Japan…

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