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.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

New Release: 2014 BBM The National Honor Box Set

The People's Honor Award is an actual award in Japan, not just a fabricated name by BBM. It was created in 1977 and is given by the Prime Minister to a select few entertainers and sports figures, generally for international fame which reflects well upon Japan. Four baseball players have received the award, of the 23 commendations given so far.
It should be no surprise that Sadaharu Oh is on this list, but you might not know that Oh was the first person to receive the award. Sachio Kinugasa was the sixth to be honored for holding the world record in consecutive games played, with 2215. Cal Ripken passed his record in the 1990s, of course.
The award hadn't been given to any more baseball players until last May, when both Shigeo Nagashima and Hideki Matsui were recognized.
 It took several months for BBM to get the set out, but one of the early (March) 2014 box sets was this 18-card issue with cards for all four players. Each player received four cards with images from their playing days. Cards 17 and 18 have photos from the ceremony held in May 2013 for Nagashima and Matsui.

Each box comes with one complete 18-card set plus one random special card from the sets below.
 The big draw is autographs, of course. Each player has signatures in the set:

  • Shigeo Nagashima: 10 copies (on-card)
  • Sadaharu Oh: 14 copies (sticker)
  • Sachio Kinugasa: 60 copies (sticker)
  • Hideki Matsui: 30 copies (sticker)

 Boxes without an actual autograph contain foil autographs. There are four cards, one per player. The most common uses gold foil, and each is limited to 150 copies.
The next-rarest version uses red foil, and is numbered to 120 copies.
The rarest version uses a holographic foil, and is limited to 77 copies each (Oh's card, F01, has only 75 copies). Nagashima is numbered F03, so Kinugasa should be F02 and Matsui F04.

It's interesting to compare Nagashima's current actual autograph to his foil autograph.

With 114 total autographs in the product, each 12-box case only has one signature on average. However, each box retails for 8000 yen!


  1. The stroke Shigeo Nagashima suffered a while back seems to have really affected his right side. Every picture or video I've seen of him recently, he has his right hand in his pocket. Even when he was batting against Hideki Matsui in the ceremony last year, he swung the bat with his left hand while his right stayed in his pocket.

    So I wonder if he's signing the autographs with his left hand.

  2. It's possible he's not using his right hand. I am glad he's still active and visible at events, though - provided he wants to be.