The first album I have is from 1977. Unfortunately I'm not 100% sure which set it was issued with as some of the 70's Yamakatsu sets are difficult to keep straight. I'm pretty sure it was the "JY4" set but it might have been the "JY3" set. I had opened boxes of both of these a few years back. The album was included in the box with the cards - I think the intention was that the shop owner would put the packs of cards out for sale and give the album as a prize to the customer who pulled a pack with a "winner" card in it. (There were also "premium" cards packed in the box to be given away as well.)
The album has color photos on the front and back but none in the inside. Oddly enough it does not appear that most of the photos were also used on the cards. There are three one pocket cellophane pages in the album for putting cards in. Like many Japanese books and magazines, the album opens from the left side. The album is about seven inches by ten inches - keep in mind that the cards in both the "JY3" and "JY4" sets were pretty large - around 6 3/4 inches by 9 3/4 inches.
|1977 Yamakatsu Album front|
|1977 Yamakatsu Album back|
The other album I have is from the 1979 "JY8" set. This album is smaller - about 6 1/2 inches by 7 1/2 inches - and opens from the right like Western books and magazines. The front has photos of Shigeo Nagashima and Sadaharu Oh of the Giants while the back features Koichi Tabuchi and Shigeru Kobayashi of the Tigers, a Dragons player that I think is Keiichi Yazawa and Koji Yamamoto of the Carp.
|1979 Yamakatsu Album front|
|1979 Yamakatsu Album back|
That's Shigeo Nagashima and Yutaka Fukumoto on the top row and Sadaharu Oh, Katsuo Ohsugi and Shigekazu Mori. (And in case you're curious, the other card in the album is Koji Yamamoto's #7.) I'd love to pull the two cards that I don't have (Oh and Mori) out but I don't see a way to do it without damaging the cards and/or the album.
Here's what empty pages look like - the album was too big for my scanner to get the full spread so the image is cut off a bit on the left side and by a full card's worth on the right side.
The guy selling these on Ebay had three separate auctions going for them - there was one with no cards in it for less than $10, the one I got with six cards in in for $15-ish and a near complete set for $40-ish.
I assume there were albums for other Yamakatsu sets but I have never seen them.