Saturday, April 30, 2016

1990s Japanese BBM Baseball Pack "Rips"

Back in the day, before sumo wrestling cards took over, I was a big baseball card collector.  I was fortunately to work at a card store for most of my high school years to fuel my passion, but the combination of the 1994 strike, going to college, and the overwhelming number of baseball sets being produced killed my collecting mojo during the late 1990s.  However, before it was totally dead I had some of my Japanese friends pick up some Japanese baseball card packs for me during my freshman year of college.  This weekend, when I was tidying up the basement, I came across the packs.  Before anyone gets too excited they were already opened, but I apparently only cut off the top of the pack and then slid the cards back in after I was done looking at them....typical me of the era.  So 20 years later, here I am again getting ready to open/reopen them and see what lies within.  All the cards appear to be in the 6 different packs so it's really like I never even opened memory of what lies within long ago faded.  I'm a true amateur when it comes to Japanese Baseball stars so all I'll really recognize is Nomo, Ichiro, and Matsui.  I'm using Engel's book as a guide to see how I fared.  The packs are as follows: 1995, 1994, 1993, 1992 Series 1, 1992 Series 2, and 1991.  Wish me luck.

Up first is the 1995 pack.  Come on Ichiro!!!!  It says there are 10 cards inside and cost 200円.

No Ichiro and the best card it looks like is #349 of Kazuhiko Ishimine.  I do like the hologram on the back...reminds me of Upper Deck!

Here is what I got:

#638 - Tomohiro Kuroki
#550 - Shinichiro Minami
#461 - Shinjiro Hiyama
#382 - Takayuki Murakami
#349 - Kazuhiko Ishimine
#272 - Masashi Arikura
#212 - Katsuhiko Yamada
#176 - Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi (Gold Facsimile Auto)
#152 - Hiroo Ishii
#92 - Hiroyuki Maehara

Alright, 1994 here we go.  Looks like Matsui and Ichiro are the ones to get here.  Engel also states that cards #1-42 are scarce.  10 cards in this pack as well No whammies!

Okay, another so-so pack.  Card #553 looks to be my best card "Power Aplenty" (Bryant and Winters)

Here is what I got:

#553 - "Power Aplenty" Bryant and Winters
#533 - Shintaro Yoshitake
#505 - Jun Yamada
#477 - Yusuke Torigoe
#449 - Chihiro Hamana
#421 - Masao Yanada
#393 - Yoshinori Ueda
#365 - Norio Tanabe
#337 - Kiyoyuki Nagashima
#309 - Yasuaki Taihoh

Next up.  1993.  200円 for 10 cards.  Hoping for an Ichiro, Matsui or Nomo.

Bam!  Hit the #423 Matsui!

Here is what I got:

#498 - Checklist
#473 - "Combination Card" Furuta and Okabayashi
#448 - Takahiro Ikeyama
#423 - Hideki Matsui
#398 - Akihito Kondoh
#373 - Tadaharu Sakai
#348 - Norihiro Akimura
#323 - Terumitsu Kumano
#298 - Kenji Tomashino
#273 - Shinichi Igarashi

Let's roll with 1992 Series 1.  200円 for 10 glorious cards.  I'd love to pull a Nomo here.

Nothing at all to report in this one.

#232 - Takahiro Konno
#219 - Yoshihiko Takahashi
#182 - Kenji Horie
#157 - Kenji Furukubo
#132 - Satoshi Nakajima
#107 - Hiroshima Municipal Stadium
#82 - Hiroshi Yagi
#57 - Takahiro Ikeyama
#44 - Hiroaki Hirota
#7 - Tomio Watanabe

1992 Series 2.  Hopefully I get at least a semi-star!

Another blah pack.  1992 was not kind to me at all here.

#497 - Checklist
#472 - Yasuo Nagaike
#447 - Hiroshi Motohigashi
#422 - Kohji Ohtsuka
#379 - Atsunori Itoh
#372 - Shinichi Igarashi
#347 - Norihito Yamashita
#322 - Shinji Sasaoka
#297 - Yoichi Okabayashi
#272 - Masahiro Takahashi

Alright, last pack.  1991....Inaugural year for BBM baseball cards.  Let's see what we get...would love a Nomo!

Not bad it seems.  I did get an Oh card...and for some reason this pack has 3 American players in it.

Here is what I ended up with:

#384 - Tetsuya Iida
#344 - Shinichi Murakami
#304 - Tom O'Malley
#264 - Koji Maeda
#223 - Sadaharu Oh
#183 - Shinichi Igarashi
#143 - Koji Takagi
#103 - Kiyoki Nakanishi
#63 - Johnny Ray
#24 - Jim Paciorek

Well that was definitely fun and some great looking cards these early BBM releases are!  A great way to spend an hour on a Saturday.


  1. Congratulations on finding a Matsui and Oh! I recently picked up a bunch of packs of 1991 BBM, but ripped them all in hopes of finishing off my 1991 BBM set.

  2. Do you need any of the ones from my pack? I have an unopened box and a complete set (looks like the American market version) I bought for $10 in a discount bin at a card shop. Would love to open the packs and pull a Nomo, but am too afraid to.

    1. No... I'm actually finished the set with the final pack. I was so bummed, because I was hoping I had a few packs leftover so I could add them with the two sets I made. If I were you, I'd keep that unopened box sealed. There are several (5 or 6) Nomos in the set and I'm sure they're only a few bucks each. Picking up the complete set for $10 was a great find. Congratulations!

  3. There's some guys of note in there. Atsuya Furuta is a Hall Of Famer. Shinji Sasaoka , Shinjiro Hiyama and Takahiro Ikeyama were all "minor stars". Norio Tanabe is the current manager of the Lions while Tomio Watanabe managed them a few years ago. You've also got Tomohiro "Johnny" Kuroki's rookie card - he was a very popular pitcher for the Marines.

    1. Thanks for the info on the additional cards. They are all back in their packages so I can open them up in 20 years again! It seems boxes from these early BBM sets are really hard to come by.