Wednesday, October 31, 2012

NPB Players in the Australian Baseball League

The 2012-13 season for the Australian Baseball League is kicking off tomorrow (November 1) and it looks like there are several Japanese players that will be appearing in the league.  Hanshin has sent three players to the Canberra Calvary - pitchers Masanori Fujihara and Hirokazu Shiranita as well as outfielder Kohei Shibata.  The Lions are sending pitchers Hirotaka Koishi and Yuta Nakazaki along with catcher Shota Nakata to the Melbourne Aces.  (Melbourne also has a Japanese coach named Mitsuharu Nagayama but I've been unable to figure out if he is a coach with Seibu or not.)

2012 BBM 2nd Version #619
I won't go into too much detail about what cards are available for each of these guys as a simple search using the Inventory Manager at will give you the complete list (thanks Jason!).  I don't think any of the six have any Calbee cards, although they have some Konami and Owners League cards.  Each of the six appeared in a BBM Rookie Edition set - Nakata and Shiranita in 2008, Nakazaki and Shibata in 2009, Fujihara in 2010 and Koishi in 2012.  Fujihara, Koishi, Nakazaki and Shiranita appeared in the BBM 1st and 2nd Version sets in their rookie seasons (Nakazaki didn't make the 2nd Version set), but have pretty much only been in their respective team sets in the following seasons.  Shibata has appeared in the 1st Version set in 2009, 2010 and 2012 as well as the 2nd Version set in 2012.  Nakata's only BBM cards (other than his Rookie Edition card) are from the Lions team sets.

2012 BBM Lions #L69
There's an additional Japanese player on an ABL roster but he's not an NPB player.  The Brisbane Bandits have an outfielder named Hirotoshi Onaka who is a minor leaguer in the Texas Ranger organization.  He has never played in NPB but apparently signed with the Rangers out of International Pacific University in Japan.

I'm not entirely sure all the rosters are up to date as the Sydney Blue Sox roster still lists 43 year old Korean pitcher Koo Dae-Sung who I thought retired at the end of last season.  So there may turn out to be more players than I thought - conversely it may turn out that ALL the rosters are old and these six played LAST season but I'm fairly confident that that's not the case.


Adam and Elissa said...

I create "custom" cards of players in the Australian Baseball League for myself from photos I've taken. If anybody wnats to check out the shots of the Japanese players in their ABL uniforms on the cards I've designed, you can find them at
Cheers - Adam

NPB Card Guy said...

Very cool - thanks for sharing!