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Friday, February 10, 2017

New Release: 2017 BBM Retirement Set

However you want to interpret the name, the set essentially translates as "Regret of Parting Baseball Players". For the past few years, BBM has issued a "retirement" set honoring players who called it quits at the end of the prior season. This year has some big names, and a big price jump.

The 2016 set had a print run of 3000 sets and retailed for 4000 yen (about $40). However, this year's set was limited to 2000 boxed sets with a retail price about 6000 yen ($60). 
The basic design is similar to prior years. Many of the photos feature the players being honored in some way; I imagine they are from the farewell ceremonies at the end of the year if the player had one. Several players just have normal action shots, though, including former major leaguer Hideki Okajima. Backs have teams, awards, career stat line, and a write-up with some career highlights and/or a tribute to their "fighting spirit", being a key "utility player", and so on.
sample image from BBM
As always, BBM includes a full set (this year's is 36 cards) plus one special card. BBM is only advertising the autographed cards, though the list on their website shows only 1800 autographed cards. It is possible that BBM issued only 1800 box sets this year. However, I count only 26 signers; it's possible that a few more turned in some autographs to bump the set up to a print run of 2000. I wouldn't be surprised if the delay in announcing the set was due to a lack of returns of autographs. Guaranteeing one autograph per box might be the reason for the price increase, as in past years BBM also included various foil-signature inserts to flesh out the "special" card offerings.


  1. Wow. Pretty pricey for a 36 card set with one auto. Even if I was guaranteed to pull the Okajima and the production was limited to a thousand, I wouldn't drop that much dough. However... I really like the concept behind the set.

    1. One thing to remember is that autographs are much more valuable here, at least of stars. Common autographs and relics are still rarely found under 500 yen, and usually start at 1000 yen. Superstar autos are 10,000 yen or more. Ichiro can rarely be had for less than 40,000 yen, though he isn't exactly a frequent signer.

  2. B.league basketball is only 1500 boxes and RAZ has calculated around 2000 for True Heart wrestling which were low in our opinion. BBM might be trying to manage supply and demand more now.

    1. That's highly possible. Stores might be having hissy fits over having 30 base sets for some of these releases still lying around because high rollers opened several cases chasing the big hits.