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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

1994 BBM Perfect Pitching

Perfect games don't come easy. In the US, 23 pitchers (21 under modern rules) have the honor of having pitched a perfect game. Interestingly enough, ten of those have happened since the last perfect game in the NPB.
Much like the No-Hitters set BBM issued in 2012, the Perfect Pitching set came on the heels of what remains the last recognized NPB perfect game. Hiromi Makihara of the Yomiuri Giants beat the Hiroshima Carp 6-0, striking out seven batters on May 18, 1994.
Opening the album, or really, giant card holder, reveals three cards honoring the game, including a celebratory photo and three cards.
Inside are cards for all fifteen perfect games thrown in the NPB. On the far right, a placeholder (really just a sheet of paper) is included for Tsutomu Tanaka, for whom BBM could not get the rights.
The back includes the photos found on the card fronts. You can see the original retail price was 2000 yen.

Before you say anything, yes, there was a perfect game pitched in the NPB after 1994. In 2007, Daisuke Yamai and Hitoki Iwase combined to throw a perfect game in Game 5 of that year's Japan Series against the Nippon Ham Fighters. However, NPB does not recognize combined no-hitters, so as far as the record books are concerned, Makihara was the last pitcher to throw a perfect game.

I initially bought this set with the intention of using one card for my type collection and a couple cards for other collections. However, since it came complete in this nice folder, I haven't broken it up. I'll have to stay on the lookout for singles or another set. (And a real card of Tsutomu Tanaka, who apparently only appears on a Kabaya-Leaf card.)


  1. Tsutomo Tanaka was involved in the Black Mist scandal in the early 1970's, although he was not banned for life. I've always wondered if that's why he didn't appear in either this set or the 2012 No-hitters set. Yutaka Enatsu was implicated as well though and it doesn't seem to have affected his inclusion in sets. Of course Enatsu was a MUCH better pitcher...

    I'm pretty sure Tanaka has some menko cards as well as the Kabaya-Leaf card.

    I find it odd that Yoshimi Moritaka showed up in this set but not the 2012 No-hitters set.

    1. Yeah I remember the Tanaka story. Actually I went back to your post on this set while writing mine and that refreshed my memory.

      As for Tanaka's menkos - I'm doubtful I'll be able to find one around here. I might have luck in a couple places (Jimbocho, mainly) but I'd probably have to go through one of the US collectors. There's a Tanaka Kabaya-Leaf card that's listed on YJA... for 20,000 yen. Moritaka is a strange one, though he might have just been impossible to find for the 2012 set, or outright refused.

  2. Love the folder thingy. It's a cool way to display the set. Best of luck finding the Tanaka!

    1. I really couldn't bring myself to break up the whole set with such a beautiful display.