In 1991, BBM revolutionized the Japanese baseball card industry by creating the first modern American style baseball card set. The 399 card set was the first to contain cards of virtually every current Japan Pro Baseball player. The card size was similar to the size of Topps baseball cards. The card layout, front and back, was reminiscent of American cards. At that time, no one imagined that 32 years later, the company would still be issuing annual sets!
Most 1991 BBM cards were issued in boxes of 30 packs. However, a number of factory sets were also produced. Most were issued with all English text on the box and were serial numbered to 7,500. However, an additional 1,000 "not for sale" serial numbered sets were presented to various dignitaries. The special sets were packed in a different box than the regular factory set. The boxtop for these special sets contains mostly Japanese text, including the Japanese words "not for sale". This is the first time we have ever auctioned such a set.
The 1991 set was introduced at a propitious time, since it corresponded to the beginning of Hideo Nomo's career. Not only did BBM issue a regular issue rookie card of Nomo, but a special six card Nomo subset was included as well. The set also contains cards of several players who were among the vanguard of Japanese pitchers to play in the American major leagues, such as former A.L. ROY Kazuhiro Sasaki, Shigetoshi Hasegawa, Hideki Irabu, Masato Yoshii, Masao Kida, Shingo Takatsu, etc.
Additionally, numerous Japan Hall of Famers/Golden players are included in the set, such as Kazuhiro Kiyohara, Koji Akiyama, Hiromitsu Ochiai, Tatsunori Hara, Hiromasa Arai, Yukio Tanaka, Masaki Saito, Kazuyoshi Tatsunami, Hiromitsu Kadota, etc., etc. There are also 29 cards of North Americans who were playing in Japan at the time, including Orestes Destrade, Ozzie Canseco, Tom O'Malley, Ralph Bryant, R. J. Reynolds, Johnny Ray, and many more. To cap it off, there is an All Time Greats subset with cards of Sadaharu Oh, Shigeo Nagashima, Minoru Murayama, Isao Harimoto, Kazuhisa Inao, etc.
All in all, this was quite the maiden effort for BBM, the company that has become the king of Japanese baseball cards. Here is your chance to own a special, very limited edition factory set of BBM's first issue.
Size: Each card is 2 3/8" x 3 5/16"
Condition: Sealed Factory Set. It is assumed that nearly all cards inside are Nm/Mt or Mint.