The other day I reached into my stash of unusual unopened packs and grabbed a pack of Japanese baseball cards… just because I hadn’t opened any in a while.
This is the wrapper from 2006 BBM 2nd Edition…
Here’s the back… I presume the information is similar to the back of a pack of Major League cards.
First card: Tsuyoshi Nishioka. You might remember Nishioka from the time he spent with the Minnesota Twins in 2011 and 2012. After his stint with the Twins (and a couple of their minor league affiliates), he returned to Japan to sign with the Hanshin Tigers.
And here’s the back:
Nobuhiko Matsunaka is a two-time MVP who spent his entire 19 year career with the Hawks and won the Triple Crown in 2004 (.358, 44 HR, 120 RBI)
Jeremy Powell pitched for the Expos from 1998 to 2000 and then pitched in 8 seasons in Japan. During 2002, his best season, he lead the Pacific League with 17 wins, 182 K’s and 4 shutouts.
While I don’t love the design, I would say that having an Aurora effect on the bottom is an interesting way to fade out, and to provide a dash of color.
Nobuhiro Matsuda from the “Youth Explosion” subset. Matsuda is still playing for the Hawks; he’s a 9-time All-Star, 7-time Golden Glove winner and a 5-time Japan Series champion.
Since it’s a different subset than we’ve seen, I’ll share the back as well.
Here’s another Youth Explosion card, this one featuring Koji Aoyama.
Aoyama is still pitching for the Eagles and is a two-time All-Star.
Atsushi Fujimoto played for the Tigers for 9 years, and then with the Swallows. He’s currently a coach with the Tigers.
Here’s a Hanshin Tigers checklist card.
I wouldn’t normally show the back of a checklist – or the front, for that matter – but hey, these are Japanese cards, and how often do you see a Japanese checklist?
I appreciate how the back is broken down into subsets and inserts.
Hitoshi Tamura from the “Interleague Topics” subset. Your guess is as good as mine what this is about. Tamura played for the BayStars, Hawks and Dragons, and won a Gold Medal representing Japan in the 2006 World Baseball Classic.
From the back it seems to have something to do with a particular Interleague game. I was a little surprised to see that the game was from May 21st of the same year this pack came out, so that gives a bit of an idea of when these came out.
…And that’s the pack. In case you’re interested, I opened a pack of 2006 BBM 1st Version four years ago and you can see those cards here (BTW, they have a different design than these).