Sorry that posting has been light the last few weeks. Work's been kind of crazy lately and I've been doing some traveling, both for work and for fun. My list of things to post about has been getting longer, so I'll be trying to get caught up in the next couple weeks.
I was at last night's Orioles-Red Sox game and I noticed three people on the field with a connection to Japanese baseball. Two of them I expected - Bobby Valentine and Junichi Tazawa - but I hadn't realized until I saw him that Lew Ford was now on the Orioles. Ford had originally been drafted by the Red Sox in the late '90's, then traded to the Twins who he made the majors with. After being let go by the Twins at the end of the 2007 season, he signed on with the Hanshin Tigers for 2008. He ended up playing in only 47 games with the ichi-gun team, hitting a paltry .225 while spending the rest of the time with the minor league team. He returned to the States in 2009, splitting time between the Reds' AAA team in Louisville and Long Island in the independent Atlantic League. He spent 2010 in Mexico, then returned to Long Island for 2011. The Orioles picked him up this year and he hit .331 with Norfolk along with stints with the O's. He's 35 years old now, playing in the majors again for the first time since 2007.
This is the only card I know of his for sure from Japan, although there's probably at least one card from the 2008 BBM Tigers set and maybe one in that year's Calbee set as well. This is #102 from the 2008 BBM 1st Version set: