The 1989 set featured borderless photos with the player's name and team on the front in Japanese. The corners of the cards are rounded. They very much resemble the "phone card" size Calbee cards from 1990-91 except Calbee had the player names in English. (In fact when I first saw the set years ago I kind of thought that Lotte was ripping off Calbee's design until it clicked with me that they came out first!) The backs of the cards feature the player's name in English. I suspect this is the first Japanese set to have the player's name in English on it. Calbee added English names to the back of their cards in their third series in 1989 and I wonder if it was in response to Lotte having them.
The set contains the stars of the day including Hall Of Famers Koji Akiyama, Tatsunori Hara, Tsutomu Itoh, Hiromitsu Kadota, Manabu Kitabeppu, Kimiyasu Kudoh, Choji Murata, Hiromitsu Ochiai, Yutaka Ohno, Kazuyoshi Tatsunami and Tsunemi Tsuda along with other stars like Kazuhiro Kiyohara, Norihiro Komada and Takehiro Ikeyama. There's a large number of Western players in the set including Greg "Boomer" Wells, Ralph Bryant, George Hinshaw, Mike Diaz, Mike Easler, Brian Dayett, Anthony Brewer, Willie Upshaw, Tony Bernazard, Carlos Ponce, Jim Paciorek, Larry Parrish, Matt Keough and Cecil Fielder.
Half of the cards in the set has some sort of variation. Most of these are either variations on the English spelling of the player's name ("Ito" vs "Itoh" or "Fieldar" vs "Fielder") or the player's weight but there are two different versions of the front of Bryant's card and two completely different versions of card #29 - one is Easler and the other is Dayett. You can see the full checklist for the set over at TradingCardDB.com. Here's some sample cards:
|#9 Koji Akiyama|
|#40 Hiromitsu Kadota|
|#106 Takehiro Ikeyama|
|Back of #11|
The checklist for the 1990 set was very similar to the 1989 set - in some cases literally. A number of players have the same number in both checklists. The 1990 set contains the same 11 Hall Of Famers that the 1989 set had plus Masaki Saitoh. Hideki Irabu appears in this set as well. There doesn't seem to be as many Westerns in this set however, only Bryant, Wells and Diaz. Neither of the big rookies from 1990 - Hideo Nomo and Atsuya Furuta - appear in the set. There's only one known variant - there's an extremely rare version of card #117 for Cecil Fielder. It appears the card was pulled when Fielder returned to the US in early 1990. The more common version of the card is for Katsuhiko Kido. The full checklist can be see at TradingCardDB.com. Here's some example cards:
|Back of #82|