Monday, March 20, 2017

My First NPBL Cards

I have been thinking about buying some NPBL (Japanese Baseball League) cards for a while and I finally ordered some last week. I don't really know a lot about Japanese baseball, but I do watch games from time to time on TV and the internet. Anyway, I feel like you learn a lot about the game and players through card collecting so I thought it would be cool to start collecting Japanese cards and following the NPBL players a bit.

For my first purchase, I bought a box of 2015 BBM 25th Anniversary and a box of 2012 BBM Suntory Dream Match 2012 (Team Set). My first impression of BBM cards is that they are a nice quality card. I also like the fact that they include foreign players, unlike the current KBO cards.

The BBM 25th Anniversary cards are a mix of old and players and on the backs of the cards there is a picture of their BBM rookie card and some stats. The cards are very nice looking and I like the design without borders. It makes the photos seem a little bit more like a nice piece of art.

In terms of the box break, there are 20 packs per box with 6 cards per pack for a total of 120 cards per box. The complete set consists of 213 cards (Base + Great Records and Highlights + Old-time Stars + Stars Shining Overseas + Legendary Stars + Rising Stars). There are also auto and jersey cards that are not included in the 213.

Here are some of the cards that I got from the BBM 25th Anniversary break.

Box Front & Back

Tuffy Rhodes 

Alex Ramirez 

Daisuke Matsuzaka 

Matt Murton 

Wladimir Balentien 

Lee Dae-ho 

Shohei Ohtani 

 Great Records & Highlights

Hideki Matsui (Old-Time Stars) 

Norichika Aoki (Stars Shining Overseas) 

Shinnosuke Abe (Legendary Stars)

 Takanori Suzuki (Auto)

Shinya Miyamoto (Jersey)

The BBM 2012 Suntory Dream Match box provided a team set of the players that participated in the game. The sets were limited to 3,000 and the set that I got was numbered 2939/3000. The 2 teams in the set are the Tohoku Japan Heroes and The Premium Malts. The game ended with a score of 7-6 in favor of the Premium Malts. In the set you get 49 player/manager cards (24 from the Premium Malts and 25 from the Japan Heroes). There are also some other inserts that you can get in the sets and this is actually where I ended up with my favorite Japanese card so far. It is an auto of Isao Harimoto, an ethnic Korean that has lived his whole life in Japan, was born in Hiroshima in 1940, survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima (the only survivor to ever play in the NPBL), and he is the all time record holder for hits in the NPBL.

Here is a look at the box and a few of the cards.

Box Front & Back

Isao Harimoto 

Eji Bando

Isao Harimoto (auto)


  1. Nice pull on the Harimoto. He's one of my favorite NPB players as well.

    1. Thanks. It's an awesome card with a guy with an awesome story. I can't wait to get in the 2017 BBM that I preordered. How was the WBC for you?

  2. Had a great time. Would have preferred to see Japan win but no real problem with the US winning.

    1. That's great. I was pulling for America or Japan after Korea was out so it ended up working out for me in the end.