Chaos and Kanji is the blog where I write about my adventures through Japan!

Want Lists are located here. NPB Baseball Want List is located here.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

New Release: 2014 BBM Dragons Legends 1987-2001

What an odd collection of years. Because I'm assuming the dates are inclusive, it is a 15-year span, but there are no anniversaries of really major events in the team's history. From 1987-2001, the Dragons won two Central League pennants, but didn't win the Japan Series. They moved stadiums in the middle of that period, but didn't change locations. (See the discussion in the comments.) Note that BBM has issued two Dragons anniversary sets (70th-2006 and 75th-2011). As far as the Legends series go, this is the third set - as NPB Card Guy points out below, there are Giants Legends and Tigers Legends sets.
 The base cards have a blue and white border that looks like water drop stains, with the player's name, position, jersey number, team name, and BBM logo at the bottom. The very bottom of the card has a black border that says "DRAGONS LEGENDS 1987-2001" but my scanner doesn't like black borders very much.
 The backs use the same water-stain background as the front borders, and contain the usual details - the player's name in kanji and hiragana, vital stats and team history, and career stats - at least, while with the Dragons. There's a write-up with highlights.
 The only parallel I'm aware of is a gold signature, most likely a partial parallel.
 The backs have serial numbering to 150. Note that on this card you can see Gomez's career stats with the Dragons, and his MLB totals.
 The lone insert set is Best 9, which unsurprisingly contains nine cards. There's a foil background with a dragon behind the player image, and silver foil on top.
 Backs use the same photos with another dragon watermark. There is no explanation of what makes each player the best at their position, though.
 There are two parallels of the insert set. The first is a gold foil set. Gold foil sets are serial-numbered to 200 copies.
The second is a holographic foil set. These are serial-numbered to 100 copies on the back.

I count an autograph checklist of 52 players, ranging from 30-120 copies each. The cards have horizontal layouts and use the water-spot blue background behind the sticker autographs and player photos.

Six-card packs cost 400 yen, with 20 packs per box. Despite being marketed as a 2014 set, this came out in December of 2013.


  1. The time range coincides with Senichi Hoshino's two reigns as manager of the Dragons. His first stint was from 1987 to 1991 and his second was from 1996 through 2001.

    This is the third team based OB set to be dubbed "Legends". The theme of the Giants one was Shigeo Nagashima's time as manager. The theme of the Tigers one was the 1980's.

    1. The Dragons weren't really notably successful during Hoshino's time, though. He feels more like a Billy Beane than a Bobby Cox, making moves to increase the winning percentage but falling short of the trophy in the end. Until, of course, this year's Eagles championship.

      For some reason those prior Legends sets slipped my mind. I really should try writing when I'm awake!

    2. From an objective viewpoint the Dragons weren't particularly successful during that time but it was probably one of the better periods in their history, at least in the pre-Ochiai managerial days (pre-2004). After winning their first (and last until 2007) Nippon Series in 1954, it was 20 years before they even appeared in another one. After 1974, they weren't in another until 1982. Then they had the two under Hoshino, 11 years apart. Hoshino was the first Dragons manager to take the team to the Nippon Series twice. Obviously Ochiai was their most successful manager but doing a "Legend" set for an era from 2004-2011 would be a bit premature.

      BBM's web page about the set does confirm that it's for Hoshino's managerial stints with the team.

      BBM appears to like to concentrate on players from the 1970's and later for their OB sets. I wonder if they've been picking these themes for the Legend sets so that they have an excuse to only have those type of players in the set rather than needing to throw in a few older players when doing a 70th or 75th year anniversary set.

  2. BTW - I like how you're focusing on the Dragons today - this set here and your trip to Nagoya Dome on Chaos And Kanji.

    1. Thanks! That was slightly coincidental, but I realized I had the opportunity and took it.

      And I bet you're right about the Legend set eras.

  3. I believe there were 99 cards in each of the Giants and Tigers Legends sets. Is that how many cards are in this set?

    1. The Dragons set has 81 cards - 72 regular cards and 9 career "stat leader" cards. Tigers and Giants Legends both had 99 cards each.