Tuesday, October 20, 2009

NPB Pitchers in the Arizona Fall League

Five pitchers from Japanese teams have arrived in Arizona to play for a couple of teams in the Arizona Fall League. They are Hiroshi Katayama from the Eagles; Toshiyuki Yanuki from the Fighters; Tooru Murata and Takanobu Tsujiuchi from the Giants; and Ken Nishimura from the Tigers. Nishimura will be replaced mid-season (around the beginning of November) by fellow Tiger Kenta Abe. Katayama and Yanuki will play for the Phoenix Sea Dogs and the rest will be with the Scottsdale Scorpions. There are more details at both NPB Tracker and MLB.com (where there's a familiar name on the credit for the photo of Katayama).

So if you're going to check out a game and want to try to get an autograph, here's a list of some of the available BBM cards for the players. This is not a comprehensive list. Each player is probably in his team's BBM wax set for each season. If the player played in the past for another team, I'll list those teams after his cards.

Kenta Abe

2003 Rookie Edition #57 (shown above), 1st Version #243
2004 1st Version #73, 2nd Version Hot Prospects subset #832
2005 1st Version #180
2009 1st Version #267
Abe was with Kintetsu in 2003-2004, Orix in 2005-2007 and Hanshin in 2008-09.

Hiroshi Katayama

2006 Rookie Edition #41 (shown above)
2009 1st Version #152

Tooru Murata

2008 Rookie Edition #4, 1st Version #034 (shown above)

Ken Nishimura

2009 Rookie Edition #064 (shown above), 1st Version #288

Takanobu Tsujiuchi

2006 Rookie Edition #80, 1st Version #388
2007 1st Version Future Stars subset #442 (shown above)

Toshiyuki Yanuki

2009 Rookie Edition #014 (shown above), 1st Version #104


Jason said...

It's downright tragic that no company consistently releases winter league sets. With Upper Deck losing its MLB licenss, this would be the perfect time for them to attempt a comprehensive winter league set to include Arizona and the Caribbean.

Anonymous said...

Can we assume there were no Japanese Baseball players this year in the Arizona Fall Baseball League. Too bad ...

NPB Card Guy said...

As far as I can tell, there were none. There's a couple in the Australian Baseball League though...