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Tuesday, January 7, 2014

2009 BBM Legend Series Sadaharu Oh: Card Gallery

About five years ago, BBM released a single-player box set bigger than any other before or since (as far as I can tell). The Sadaharu Oh Legend Series set issued in 2009 contained 89 base cards plus one special card, with all the cards featuring Sadaharu Oh.

Card fronts use full-bleed images and minimally-invasive text. A silhouette of Oh is found at the bottom. The cards feature images through his career as player and manager, with some very nice pictures included (given the quality of photography that seems to be available for older images). The playing-day cards can be grainy, and I have to wonder if they could have been digitally cleaned up. Still, they give a vintage historical feel to the set.

The set breaks down into subsets as follows:
  • 1-9: Legend
  • 10-18 Flamingo (leg lifted in his backswing)
  • 19-71 History (cards are based on specific years and dates)
  • 72-80 Face (close-up head shots)
  • 81-89 Big 1 Shot (all the photos show his jersey number)
The set was sold in large boxes for 3000 yen with one of a few possible special cards: 9 photo cards, 9 film cards, 9 printed autograph cards, or one Memory of Sadaharu Oh. Each box set is serially numbered to 8000. The inside of the box has a lot of bonus details about Oh's career including his batting stats.

The set was labeled "Volume 1" in the Legend Series. The other two players I know of to be released in this series are Kazuhiro Kiyohara (#2, 45 cards) and Masaichi Kaneda (#3, 34 cards). I'm semi-interested in obtaining the other two box sets, but since they have only half to one-third the number of cards as the Oh set, I feel it's a step down. BBM has issued other player-specific box sets over the years and a large Shigeo Nagashima-focused set, but this stands out as the crown of their collection - as far as size.

Here are all of the cards in the set:


  1. I think this was one of the best of BBM's "single player" sets. Both the Kiyohara and Kaneda ones have some nice photos, as does the "Legend Of Hideki Matsui" set from 2002 but BBM did an outstanding job designing this set.

    One of the things that sticks out with this set is that the backs of the cards frequently have as attractive photos as the front, especially the "Legend" cards. The backs of the "Flamingo" cards show a sequence of Oh's swing and the backs of the "Face" cards show him smiling (they're all labeled "Smile"). I have some examples in the post I did for this set back when it came out.

  2. Thanks for the input! I'm now waiting on the Legend of Nomo, and eventually the Legend of Ichiro.