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

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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

2018 BBM 1st Version Team Checklists

If I'm keeping track properly, this is the third year in the row that BBM has used spring training photos for their 1st Version team checklists. I'm not complaining - they're very recent images and often have some unique behind-the-scenes views or at least use photography rarely seen in a BBM set.

As has been customary for me since 2016, I grabbed the full subset at the recent card show.
 Hawks: carrying big, heavy packages. Actually, I bet they're doing some form of strength training exercise.

(Side Note: I just learned that those long, held stretches everyone does might not be so good for sports like baseball; warming up the muscles through movement is better.)
 Lions: infield practice. The hats are the best part of this image, since the yellow grass, plain wall, and drab infield dirt has very little contrast with the players' pullovers. I do think the guy on the left didn't have faith in the fielding ability of the player on the right.

(Side Note: I could probably figure out who some of these players are, but it's not important to me. If you're interested, have at it!)
 Golden Eagles: having cake and eating it too. This is at some kind of event, which could be as simple as a post-game press conference. But bonus points for being the first baseball card I can remember owning with cake on it.

(Side Note: how about a collection of baseball cards with food on them - like, players eating, pie-in-the-face, and so on?)
 Buffaloes: sushi rolls. When I first glanced at this photo, I thought those were microphones, which instantly made me think they were doing some kind of karaoke thing or something. But, no, those are big sushi rolls. But this makes two cards with food on them in this subset alone!

(Side Note: I like sushi, but I'm really not much of a fan of sushi rolls.)
 Fighters: bullpen. Again, my first glance impressions were a bit off. Originally, I just thought this was a lazy shot of multiple players in the bullpen. But either by chance or design, the players create their own sequence of timing from right to left, set to throw. Sadly, you can't tell if this photo was taken in the US or Japan.

(Side Note: How cool would it be to have nine or even twelve pitchers in a row like this, all one little step further through their delivery motions?)
 Marines: flags. Okay, minus 10 points for Gryffindor. The line of flags is interesting, sort of, but I guess there weren't any better images from spring training?

(Side Note: My computer doesn't know how to spell check Gryffindor, but Siri can handle it without any problems.)
 Carp: a shoe. A little quick check confirms that's Seiya Suzuki, outfielder. Again, that's a pretty great photo, but was there nothing better for the Carp?

(Side Note: Suzuki has a career batting average over .300, though is only at .250 after his first nine games this season.)
 Tigers: check the bat. Did you notice the batting tee that almost blends in with Nakatani's leg? How about the water bottle? I think they might be talking more about Nakatani's footwork than the bat.

(Side Note: I never wore my baseball pants low. I always showed off my stirrups.)
 BayStars: batting practice. This isn't a completely unique angle but it appears to be from just outside the home plate circle. Nicer weather would make this better, as everything does look kind of drab, but otherwise this is a great shot.

(Side Note: When attending a game in Japan, you generally can't keep batting practice balls hit into the stands. Game balls are different, but don't plan on going to pre-game gates for a ball.)
 Giants: on the field. While I don't know exactly what's happening, it's a good wide shot that includes the stadium. My guess is they're doing standard running warm-ups in the outfield.

(Side Note: Yomiuri owns a newspaper, a baseball team, and an amusement park. Yomiuriland is located right next to the Giants practice field, which also serves as their ni-gun (minor league) home. You can get a nice view of the park by taking the cable car to or from Yomiuriland. Also, the stands were basically open when there was nothing going on last year, so I could get into the stadium and take some photos. I don't know if that's an "always" thing or I just lucked out. I'll eventually post those photos... I hope.)
 Dragons: stretching. Again, not so much actually happening here, but it's a different image from what you tend to find on cards. I see three players with socks showing.

(Side Note: I've discovered a lot of Dragons fans lately, despite currently working in Kanagawa Prefecture, home of the Yokohama BayStars. The connection with the Dragons is usually because they are from Nagoya, or their family is.)
Swallows: follow through. This would be a great Calbee image. But it's BBM. Go figure.

(Side Note: The Swallows might actually be more popular in Tokyo than the Giants. Overall, the Giants are probably the most popular when taking into account more casual fans, for reasons similar to the Yankees. But for actual baseball fans in the Tokyo area, I hear Swallows more than Giants.)

Overall, there are some good shots here, and I'm happy with the subset. I do hope BBM steps up their game just a little next year.


  1. Pretty sure that Fighters' photo is from Arizona. Very disappointed that it's not from one of their exhibition games there, especially since the 2016 and 2017 ones were.

    Does the Giants' ni-gun park still have the remains of the artificial ski-slope built into the grandstand?

    >I do hope BBM steps up their game just a little next year.
    I'm hoping that Epoch forces them to.

    1. I would gather that the photo is from Arizona, but there's just nothing in the photo to make it stand out.

      It looks like the ski jump was removed several years ago. There's a second infield area where the building/jump must have been located.

  2. The pictures are great, dont get me wrong, but lets see those beautiful checklists!

    1. You'll have to wait for the 1st Version main post (hopefully this or next week) for the back side of one of the cards...

  3. Those are some pretty neat least unique!

  4. Cool photos. I especially like the Chiba Lotte Marines "flag" shot... and the Yokohama BayStars batting practice photo.

  5. They're certainly different photos as far as trading cards go. I wish BBM would do something like Stadium Club with truly amazing photos and unique perspectives, instead of the usual batters batting and pitchers pitching.