Monday, February 27, 2023


I mentioned yesterday that I had received my latest package of baseball cards from Ryan this past weekend.  As usual the box contained over 1000 cards that Ryan had picked up for me since the last time he'd sent me a package (which was about 16 months ago).  I always have a difficult time trying to figure out where to start with these packages so I decided to start with some cards that I was not expecting - six cards of professional woman baseball players.

The first card comes from the 2011 BBM GPBL set.  GPBL stands for Girl's Professional Baseball League which was the Japan Women's Baseball League's name from their founding in 2009 until 2012.  UPDATE - just discovered as I was putting this card away that it doesn't come from the same set as my other 2011 BBM GPBL cards.  I'll need to do some more investigation.


In addition to this card, Ryan also sent a couple empty envelopes that the cards had been packed in.  Each envelope originally contained two cards.  I assume these were given away at games but I don't know that for sure.  There's an envelope for each of the two teams at the time - the Hyogo Swing Smileys and the Kyoto Asto Dreams - and the back of the envelope has a checklist of the cards for the team.

The other five cards were all from 2017 and were issued by AIAIO.  I've never quite understood how these cards were distributed - as you can tell there's three different card designs here:

Miura and Maeda went on to play for the Tiger's women's team after the JWBL folded although I don't know if either one is still playing for them.  I believe that's a real autograph on Yamazaki's card.

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Card Of The Week February 26

 P-Town Tom of Waiting 'Til Next Year used to run an annual contest for bloggers to pick their favorite cards for the year.  I participated in the 2017 and 2018 contests and picked a card for 2019 even though Tom wasn't doing the contest anymore.  I hadn't really thought too much about it the past couple years but yesterday I received a large box of cards from Ryan which included a whole bunch of Epoch One cards from last year.  In that batch I came across a card that I had forgotten that I'd asked him to pick up for me but instantly became my favorite card from last year:

2022 Epoch One #667

This card show Munetaka Murakami hitting his 41st home run of last season against the Baystars.  It was also his 100th RBI of the season.  I really like the way this photo looks with the Jingu Stadium stands behind him and what looks like a sunset in the background.

I've revamped my page for the Epoch One checklists.  Instead of having a separate table for each year, I've simply linked to my Google sheets document that I've used to build the checklists.  Well, built the 2018-20 checklists - the 2021 and 2022 checklists were actually done by Jason for TCDB.  I just did a little massaging to them (and my massaging of the 2022 one is still a work in progress).  One thing I've been able to do is to determine the player who had the most cards in each year's Epoch One set - Murakami had 50(!) last year.

I'll be doing a bunch of posts on the cards that Ryan sent me over the next couple weeks.

Thursday, February 23, 2023

A Flood Of 2023 Sets

There's been a bit of flood of new sets getting announced in the three weeks since the last time I did a round up of new releases so let's get to it...

- One of these sets is already out.  The Eagles released their 1st Version set on February 11th - this is essentially the first half of their annual team issued set.  The base set will have 67 cards which I think will based on the team's 70 man roster as of December 9th.  Each base set card has three facsimile signature parallels - a silver one, a rarer gold one and a 1-of-1 crimson one.  There are four insert sets - nine cards celebrating Satoshi Miyamoto's 22 game scoreless appearance streak, twelve cards celebrating Takayuki Kishi getting victories against all 12 NPB team (which includes cards showing him with the Lions), eleven "retro-menko" cards showing the manager and coaches (with a "rock-paper-scissors" symbol on the back!) and four "Stars Of Tohoku" cards.  There are jersey and patch cards for Yuki Matsui and autograph cards for 62 players.  You can see all the cards over at Jambalaya.

- It's not quite the end of February and BBM has already announced the first four of their annual "comprehensive" team sets.  I decided that instead of my usual attempts to write something different about each of these sets when they're very repetitive, I'd just list them in a table.  Each set has a base set of 81 cards, most of which are "regular" cards featuring the manager and the players on the 70 man roster plus a couple subsets (which may not be fully defined yet) to fill out the set.  Each set also has 18 non-premium insert cards split into a variety of sets which again may not be fully defined yet.  The Treasure, Esperanza and Antique inserts are all serially numbered.  (If it's not obvious, the "Regular Cards", "Treasure", "Esperanza" and "Antique" columns are the total number of those type of cards in each set)

Release Date Team Regular Cards Subsets Non-Premium Inserts Treasure Esperanza Antique Other
Late March Swallows 68 Flagship (4), Take Over (2), Accelerator (3), Stay Tuned (4) Stellar (9), Bright Light (3), The Moment Of 56 (3), Coming Up (3) 18 15 Autograph cards
Late March Fighters 68 Newcomer (3), Pitchers (4), Hitters (6) Main Players (9), Shinshin (6), Up And Coming (3) 14 15 Autograph cards
Mid April Tigers 70 Newcomer (4), Pitchers (3), Hitters (4) Main Players (9), Young Promising (3), Shining Ore (3), Promising Newcomers (3) 24 15 24 Autograph cards, jersey cards for Atsuki Yuasa and Koji Chikamoto
Late April Marines 69 Expected Break Candidates (4), Combi Cards (5), Team Essentails (3) Main Players (9), Rookie (3), Roki Sasaki History (6) 24 15 24 Autograph cards, memorabilia cards for two unspecified players

- BBM also announced this year's edition of their annual Icons box set.  The theme this year is Samurai and the focus is on players who have represented Japan along with young players who could do so in the future.  The box contains 37 cards - a 36 card base set and one special card which could be a parallel card, a foil signed card (facsimile, not real autograph) or an "EXTREME" insert card.  The base set is (naturally) broken up into three cards per team and includes Samurai Japan members Munetaka Murakami, Roki Sasaki and Yoshinobu Yamamoto along with eight rookies.  The set will hit the shelves in late March.

- Also hitting the shelves in late March (March 27th officially) is Calbee's Series One set.  That's all I know about it right now because for the second year in a row, Calbee has decided not to release the Series One checklist until about a week before the set comes out.  I would expect that it will pretty much be like every other Calbee set for the last ten years or so - the base set will contain 72 "regular" player cards (six per team), either a 20-ish card "Title Holder" subset or a 12 card subset with some theme that ends up working out to one card per team, and four checklist cards along with a 24 card "Star" insert set.  But I could be wrong.

- I mentioned a while back that it was interesting that Epoch and the OB Club didn't do any collaborations last year.  What I hadn't realized at the time was that last year really wasn't over yet, at least when it came to card releases from Epoch (which may explain why they are STILL issuing "2022" Epoch One cards).  Epoch released the "2022 JRFPA set" earlier this month and next month they are issuing TWO of their ultra high end sets in conjunction with the OB Club, both of which are labeled as 2022 products.  The sets are Holografica and Career Achievements.  Both sets will be released on March 18th and each set's boxes will contain six cards (including two autograph cards) and retail for 16,500 yen (~$122).  The base set for Holografica has 53 cards while Career Achievements has 55.  Each base set card has a serially numbered "hologram" parallel card and both sets have a wide variety of autograph cards available,

Tuesday, February 21, 2023

History Of Calbee 10.1 - More Redemption Cards

Sean had left a comment on the post I did yesterday regarding the premium cards available from Calbee as either redemption card prizes or boxed sets available from other retailers in which he mentioned that he'd never seen any Calbee redemption cards from the 1980s.  I replied that it was interesting that there didn't seem to be any information out there about what the redemption cards looked like between 1981 (one year after Calbee stopped doing the "home run" cards for redemption cards and the late 90's when know they were doing the "Lucky" cards.

I took a quick look at some of my early 90's Calbee cards and realized that I had a couple redemption cards.  I hadn't realized what these were when I originally got them - I thought they were something like the information or advertisement cards that BBM used to include in their packs.  But when I looked at them again this morning, I realized what they actually were.

I had two from the 1993 set.  Here's what both fronts look like:

From this photo from the Perfect Guide we can see that the same artwork on the cards appeared on the bags of chips:

The backs of the two cards were identical so I only scanned one of them:

According to the Google translation of the back, sending in three of these (well, three of the corners you're supposed to cut off of each card) will net you a card album while sending just one in will get you a "bromide with photo stand" - one of what we've been referring to as the "Big" cards.  Apparently you got to pick which player you wanted from a list on the bag - I wonder if that had any effect on what cards are out there in the market.  Were there fewer cards of less popular players released?  Or did those cards get sent to people who requested the more popular players after their cards were all gone?

I don't remember how I got these cards because I don't remember how many 1993 Calbee packs I've opened - it must have been at least one because I have a wrapper but I don't know how many of the ten cards from the set I have came from unopened packs.  I know that I pulled this next redemption card from a pack because I remember being disappointed to get it - it's from the relatively rare 1994 Calbee "Hokkaido" set (which was a regional issue that was available in Hokkaido obviously but also Kyushu and Sanyo).  I had bought a bunch of packs from someone on Ebay a while back and was not happy to pull something that wasn't a player card out of one of the packs.  Here's what the front looked like:

 And the back:

You were supposed to cut out the little square in the middle of the card.  Two of these could be redeemed for a copy of either Weekly Baseball or Weekly Soccer magazines while three would again get you a card album.

I sent Sean an email this morning telling me that I found these and he replied that he had one from the 1995 Calbee "Choco" set as well.  Eight of those would get you a soccer ball but the other prizes were the same as for the 1994 "Hokkaido" set.

Monday, February 20, 2023

History Of Calbee Part 10 - Lucky Card Redemptions And Other Oddball Cards

I wanted to continue my history of Calbee's baseball cards by doing a post about the OTHER Calbee baseball cards - the ones that didn't come directly out of a pack attached* to a bag of chips (or other snacks).  There are two varieties of these - "Lucky" card redemptions and "Special Box Sets" available through a specific retailer.  

* To be completely accurate, the packs didn't become physically attached to the bags until around 1996.  Before that the buyer would be given the packs by the store owner when they purchased the bags of chips.

"Lucky" cards are cards that can be pulled from the packs and then redeemed for prizes by being mailed to Calbee.  The prizes could either be single cards, small separate card sets or a gold signature parallel set of an entire Calbee series of base or insert cards.  There were other prizes available through the "Lucky" cards as well such as albums, baseball guide books and/or notebooks and even mini-bats.  In some years there would be multiple prizes available and you'd have to send in multiple "Lucky" cards to redeem your prize - different numbers of cards would yield different prizes.  For example, check out this "Lucky" card from the 2001 Calbee Series One set (I'm showing both the front and back here):

Sending in two "Lucky" cards would get you a small card album, five would get you a "Special" card set containing 12 cards and ten would get you a 72 card "gold facsimile signature" parallel set containing parallels of all 72 "regular" player cards from the 2001 Series One set.  The back of the has instructions on how to send the cards to Calbee.  I think you're supposed to cut off the upper right corner (well, right side from the front) of the card and send that in,  

Back when Calbee started they did "Home Run" cards instead of "Lucky" cards.  The fronts of these were identical to cards in the set but the backs had the redemption instructions on them rather than the regular card backs.  These are apparently extremely rare - probably because everyone who got them redeemed them.  It looks like Calbee only did these from 1973 to 1980 - I guess that they then switched to the "Lucky" cards but I don't know that for sure.

What follows is an attempt at a comprehensive list of the types of cards available as prizes over the 50 years Calbee's been doing cards.  I'm going to concentrate on the cards that aren't simply "gold facsimile signature" parallels of the regular cards.

In 1973, Calbee offered up a bunch of postcard sized, blank backed cards as prizes.  I think you only got one card per redemption.  It's not known how many of these exist - Engel lists 21 but one of the two I own is not on his list.  I have a card of Sadaharu Oh swinging a sword and a group photo of Tsuneo Horiuchi, Masaji Hiramatsu and Yutaka Entasu which I suspect was taken at an All Star game - maybe in Osaka Stadium?  The group card is the one that Engel doesn't list:

In 1977 Calbee issued two sets of stickers - a 36 "card" set featuring only players from the Dragons, Carp, Giants and Tigers and a 26 "card" "All Star" set featuring 13 players from each of the two leagues.  In addition they issued a set of "standup" cards that all featured Giants players.  There are 18 known cards for 11 players (five players have two cards each and Sadaharu Oh has three).  It is not clear if these cards were available as prizes, were inserted into the regular packs or issued separately.  I think these are very rare.  I don't have any of them but I did swipe images of one of the Oh "standup" cards off of Ebay:

After that it appears to have been another 12 years before Calbee issued any cards as prizes again.  In 1989 they issued six hologram cards which are also incredibly rare.  Again, I don't know for sure that these were prize cards but it seems likely.  Unfortunately I don't have any of these cards.

In 1990 Calbee gave away oversize (3 1/2 inch by 5 inch) cards as prizes.  These were issued in two series although I do not know how those series correlated to the four series that the regular set was issued in.  The first series of "Big" cards contained 16 cards with borders and backs with player information on them while the second much more rare series had 28 borderless, blank backed cards with the player's facsimile signature on the front.  I only have cards from the first series - here's the front and back of one of them:

Calbee did oversized prize cards again in each of the following three years.  These cards differed from the 1990 cards by being a little smaller (3 3/16 inches by 4 19/32 inches) and by having designs that were very similar to the regular Calbee cards for each respective year.  There were 24 cards each in the 1991 and 1992 sets and 27 in the 1993 set.  Here are examples of the 1991 and 1992 cards - I don't have any of the 1993 ones:

The next prize cards wouldn't be until 1998.  There were two varieties of these.  There was a nine card "Rivals" set that could be acquired by sending in ten "Lucky" cards for the first series.  These appear to be very rare and I don't have any of them.  A little on the easier side were the "CD" cards - six of which were available for three "Lucky" cards apiece in each series for a total of 18 cards altogether.  These were die-cut cards that were a little larger than standard size cards that were issued in a clear plastic CD case.  I picked up one of these at Mint Umeda but the CD case got cracked in my luggage during my trip:

Calbee had a "special card" set available as a prize for each of year between 1999 and 2001.  The 1999 and 2000 sets contained 24 cards and appear to have each been issued in two 12 card series.  I'm not sure how the 1999 cards were done as Calbee's on-line checklist associates both series with Series One of the set.  The first 12 cards of the 2000 set appear to have been available with "Lucky" cards from Series One while the other were available with ones from Series Two (and no "special card" set was associated with Series Three).  For 2001 the "special card" set only had 12 cards and was associated only with Series One.  I don't have any of the 1999 cards but here's an example from the 2000 and 2001 sets - keep in min that they are shiny cards that don't scan well:

After 2001 there was another long gap before Calbee again gave away cards that were not simply parallels of the regular or insert cards.  In 2014 they gave away six 3-D cards - two per series - and in 2015 they again did 3-D cards although it was only two in all - one in Series One and one in Series Two.  I don't have examples of any of these cards.

Since then Calbee has not had any cards available as "Lucky" card redemptions - in face I'm not entirely sure if they still have the "gold facsimile parallels" available.  Sean had a post recently about how disappointed his son was when he redeemed a Series Two "Lucky" card last summer to get what he assumed would be some special cards for the Dragons.  Instead he received the six "regular" Dragons cards and the "gold facsimile signature" parallels of the two Dragons "Star" insert cards - all of which could have been pulled from a pack.

The Calbee Collector website has a page listing a lot of the prizes that were available over the years via "Lucky" card redemption.  Unfortunately the listing stops at 2014.

Starting in 2004, Calbee issued small box sets of cards through another retailer.  From 2004 to 2006, this retailer was Karnac Karubiya (or at least that's how Google translated their name).  Once they went out of business in 2007 Calbee issued the sets through their eShop for the next four years (not sure if the Karnac Karubiya issued the sets in stores or only through their website).  After a two year gap in 2011 and 2012, they started issuing the sets again via the "Calbee Online Shop" before I think they switched to selling via their store in 2015.  (It's a bit confusing - they may have started selling with Amazon as early as 2013 and I swear to God I've never found the sets at their store.)  They've issued one set with every card series they've done since 2004 (with the exception of 2011 and 2012) so there's been three sets each year (except 2017 when Calbee only issued two series).  Instead of trying to write something about each of these 50 sets, I put together a table listing them all.  Each set contains 12 cards unless otherwise indicated.  I added some detail about a couple of the sets since I felt the name wasn't clear - most of these are self-explanatory:

Year Store Series One Series Two Series Three
2004 Karnac Karubiya Sluggers Ace Pitcher Hard Hitter
2005 Karnac Karubiya Over 30 Home Run (18) Lead Off Man Closer
2006 Karnac Karubiya Title Holder (21) Veteran Battling Leader
2007 Calbee eShop Slugger Speedster Ace
2008 Calbee eShop Title Holder (20) AVG Leader Closer
2009 Calbee eShop Title Holder (21) Veteran Iron Arm
2010 Calbee eShop Title Holder (19) Hits Leader Shortstop
2013 Calbee Online Shop Best 9 (15) Speed Star Strikeout Leader
2014 Calbee Online Shop Title Holder (19) AVG Leader Guardian (Closers)
2015 Amazon Title Holder (24) Wins Leader Career Hits Leader
2016 Amazon RBI Leader Wins Leader AVG Leader
2017 Amazon Clutch Hitter Opening Pitcher N/A
2018 Amazon AVG Leader Wins Leader RBI Leader
2019 Amazon Strikeout Leader Hits Leader Control Tower (Catchers)
2020 Amazon Slugger Wins Leader Opening Cleanup Hitter
2021 Amazon Strikeout Leader RBI Leader Total Victory
2022 Amazon Clutch Hitter Opening Pitcher Home Run Leader

I only have examples from three of these sets - the 2006 "Veteran", the 2020 "Slugger" and the 2022 "Clutch Hitter" sets:

In addition to these box sets that were issued in conjunction with the regular sets, Calbee also issued one of them with their 2019 Samurai Japan set.  This was an eight card set featuring highlights of several of the games that Samurai Japan had played between November, 2017 and November, 2018 - with the exception of their games against the MLB All Stars in November 2018.  I don't know for sure if this set was available from Calbee's Amazon store or if it was a "Lucky" card redemption but I suspect it was from Amazon.  Calbee no longer lists this set with the 2019 Samurai Japan checklist so I can't check what it says (and it's not archived at the Wayback Machine).  I did a post about this set when I got it in December of 2019 but here's one card from it as an example - this is Kodai Senga:

Sunday, February 19, 2023

More Topps Now Samurai Japan Parallels

Last Friday I got an email from FedEx tracking a shipment coming to me from Topps Digital.  Since I hadn't ordered anything from Topps since I got the Topps Now Samurai Japan team set, I didn't know what this was.  I figured, however, that it was probably parallel cards from the team set similar to the ones they had sent me for 13 of the 16 Topps Now Samurai Japan cards they had done back in November.  After two impatient days of waiting, the package showed up at my house this afternoon and I was able to confirm that, yes, it contained parallels for the Samurai Japan team set.  There were only two this time but they were both the red bordered ones which are limited to 10 and one of them was Roki Sasaki (the other was Yuhei Nakamura).  Here they are:



So, thanks again, Topps, for the parallels!

Card Of The Week February 19

Well, she looks like she was enjoying her time at the ballpark she just condemned this past week:

2017 BBM 2nd Version #FP02

For more on this, check out Jim Allen's Kyodo News article from a few weeks back.

Friday, February 17, 2023

1964 Japanese Olympic Baseball Team(s)

I did a series of posts a few years ago on the Japanese Olympic Baseball teams from the 1984 to 2008 Olympiads.  I knew at the time that baseball had included as a "demonstration sport" in the 1964 Tokyo games but I pretty much ignored it because it wasn't an actual tournament of between several nations.  Instead I had read that it was a single game between a US team made up of college players (managed by legendary USC coach Rod Dedeaux who would also manage the 1984 US Olympic baseball team) against what was described as "a Japanese amateur all-star team".  The game was played at Meiji Jingu Stadium on October 11th, 1964 in front of 50,000 fans and was won by the US team by a score of 6-2.  The US team included eight future MLB players - Mike Epstein, Gary Sutherland, Chuck Dobson, Alan Closter, Dick Joyce, Jim Hibbs, Ken Suarez and Shaun Fitzmaurice.  Fitzmaurice hit a home run on the first pitch of the game.

Or so the English Wikipedia article said.  However, when I decided to try to find out who was on that "Japanese amateur all-star team" by checking the Japanese version of that Wikipedia article, I discovered something interesting.

That story's not true.

To be fair, a lot of the story is true.  There was baseball played at Meiji Jingu Stadium on October 11th and the US collegiate All Star team was involved.  But Team USA actually played TWO games that day - one against a team of Japanese collegiate players and one against a team of Japanese corporate league players.  I don't think either Japanese team should really be considered an "All Star" team.  The collegiate team was essentiallythe  Komazawa University team (which had just won the All Japan University Baseball Championship four months earlier) which was fortified with seven players from other colleges in Tokyo.  Similarly the corporate league team was the Nippon Express team (which had won the Intercity Baseball Tournament two and a half months earlier) that was bolstered by seven players from other teams.

The first game was between Team USA and the collegiate team which ended in a 2-2 tie.  I haven't seen any play-by-play for this game but I have seen a line score which shows that Team USA scored a run in the top of the first so the account of Fitzmaurice homering on the first pitch of the game may very well be true.  Team USA shut out the corporate league team 3-0 in the second game of the day.

I'm also not sure about the claim of 50,000 fans in attendance.  If I'm correctly reading the Google translation of  "Japan National Team Uniform Catalog", a mook published by BBM a couple years ago that was one of the sources for the Japanese Wikipedia article, attendance was somewhere between 30,000 and 40,000 with the outfield lawn seats completely full.  (Tbis mook is the source of the photos used in this post.)  Jingu Stadium currently only seats around 31,000 but it used to have a capacity of 58,000 (according to the ballpark's Japanese Wikipedia page) so it is physically possible that they really did have 50,000.

I'm curious about how the story of this event got garbled.  It kind of looks like the two scores got mashed together - the two Japanese teams combined to score two runs but Team USA had five total runs, not six.  I think the primary source for the English language Wikipedia article is this monograph by Pete Cava (which also appeared in the 1992 edition of the SABR publication "The National Pastime"), specifically the following paragraph:

More than 50,000 fans turned out of the game with a Japanese amateur all-star team on 11 October. Dedeaux positioned himself in the third base coaching box, wondering how his team would fare.“Shaun Fitzmaurice was the leadoff hitter,” Dedeaux told Loel Schrader. “He hit the first pitch of the game for a home run over the left-centerfield fence.” The  U.S. was en route to yet another Olympic victory, this one a 6-2 triumph.

I don't know what Mr. Cava's sources were as he didn't list them in the monograph and I can't ask him because unfortunately he passed away a few years ago.  I don't mean to criticize Mr. Cava here.  It's easy sometimes to forget just how much information is available at our fingertips now.  

What's kind of odd is that one of the other sources referenced in the Wikipedia article - an article from the October 26th edition of the Lincoln (Nebraska) Star entitled "U.S. Ends Tour On Sour Note" - states "In their Olympic exhibition doubleheader at Tokyo's Meiji Stadium Oct. 11, the Americans tied a Japan College All-Star team 2-2 and beat a non-pro Japanese team 3-0." so there's a contemporary English source confirming the Japanese Wikipedia version.

The collegiate team (seen above with Team USA) had 18 players - 11 from Komazawa, two from Chuo, two from Hosei, two from Keio and one from Rikkio.  Twelve of these players would go on to play professionally.  Here's the roster:

Position Player Team NPB Career
Infielder Doi, Shozo Rikkio Giants 1965-78
Outfielder Fujita, Toshihiko Komazawa
Infielder Goto, Kazuaki Komazawa Tigers 1969-75, Fighters 1976
Infielder Hirono, Isao Keio Dragons 1966-67, Lions 1968-70, Giants 1971-73, Dragons 1974
Pitcher Ito, Hisatoshi Komazawa Dragons 1967-74, Lions 1975
Pitcher Kihara, Yoshitaka Hosei Buffaloes 1965-67, Whales 1968-69, Carp 1970-74, Lions 1975-76
Pitcher Morita, Masahiko Komazawa
Outfielder Nagaike, Tokuji (Atsushi) Hosei Braves 1966-79
Infielder Ohshita, Tsuyoshi Komazawa Flyers/Fighters 1967-74, Carp 1975-78
Outfielder Ohta, Takao Komazawa
Catcher Sato, Fumio Komazawa
Infielder Shimizu, Takeo Komazawa
Catcher Shintaku, Hiroshi Komazawa Dragons 1966-78
Infielder Shintani, Shigezo Komazawa
Outfielder Suetsugu, Toshimitsu Chuo Giants 1965-77
Infielder Takegami, Shiro Chuo Atoms/Swallows 1967-75
Outfielder Takeno, Yoshiro Komazawa Carp 1966-71
Pitcher Watanabe, Taisuke Keio Hawks 1965-72

I'm not going to do mini-biographies of the players like I did for the other Olympic team rosters but I will make some comments about some of the players.  Atsushi Nagaike is the biggest name here - he won two Pacific League MVP awards (1969 & 1971) and led the league in home runs and RBIs three times each.  Shozo Doi and Toshimitsu Suetsugu were key members of the V9 Giants.  Doi managed the Orix BlueWave in the early 1990's and is most famous (infamous?) for saying that Ichiro Suzuki would never be able to hit with that batting stance.   Taisuke Watanabe's claim to fame was throwing the first perfect game in Tokyo Big Six history.

I have cards of nine of the twelve players to play in NPB, including cards of five of them as collegiate players from either the 2011 BBM Tohto 80th Memorial set or the 2011 BBM Legend Of Tokyo Big Six set.  Here's cards of these players.  For anyone I have both a collegiate card for and an NPB card, I'll show the collegiate card first:

2011 BBM Legend Of Tokyo Big Six #068

1973 Calbee #23 (Shozo Doi)

2013 BBM Greatest Games 10-22 1973 #18

2011 BBM Legend Of Tokyo Big Six #024

1967 Kabaya-Leaf #63 (Isao Hirono)

2011 BBM Legend Of Tokyo Big Six #050

1974/75 Calbee #768 (Atsushi Nagaike)

1975/76/77 Calbee #31 (Tsuyoshi Ohshita)

2021 BBM Dragons History 1936-2021 #13

2011 BBM Tohto 80th Memorial #21

1978 NST #212 (Toshimitsu Suetsugu)

1968 Shonen Book (Shiro Takegami)

2011 BBM Legend Of Tokyo Big Six #023

The corporate league team (seen above with Team USA) also had 18 members - 11 from Nippon Express, two from Nippon Oil, two from Nippon Steel Pipe, and one each from Sumitomo Metal, Nippon Columbia and Kanekalon Kaneka.  Only three of these players would have professional careers.  Here's their roster:

Number Position Player Team NPB Career
26 Catcher Arai, Masataka Nippon Express
21 Outfielder Edamatsu, Michiteru Nippon Oil
23 Catcher Hirose, Koji Nippon Oil
16 Pitcher Kiyosawa, Tadahiko Sumitomo Metal
20 Outfielder Kobori, Shuji Nippon Express
5 Infielder Kondo, Ryosuke Nippon Express
19 Pitcher Kondo, Shigeo Nippon Columbia Orions 1972-74
2 Infielder Miyawaki, Yoshiaka Kanekalon Kaneka
3 Infielder Muraki, Hiroshi Nippon Express
9 Infielder Nagano, Takao Nippon Express
18 Pitcher Sato, Akira Nippon Express
23 Outfielder Sato, Shoji Nippon Steel Pipe
25 Outfielder Takeda, Hiroshi Nippon Express
6 Infielder Takenouchi, Masafumi Nippon Express Lions 1968-78, Tigers 1979-82
17 Pitcher Tanaka, Akira Nippon Express Giants 1969-70, Lions 1971-75, Whales 1976-77
7 Infielder Taura, Masaaki Nippon Steel Pipe
22 Outfielder Totsuka, Hiroshi Nippon Express
4 Infielder Yongdo, Yongsan Nippon Express

I only have cards for two of the three players who went on to play in NPB and I kind of found the one I didn't have cards for to be the most interesting.  Shigeo Kondo spent eleven or so years playing in the industrial leagues before putting himself up for the 1971 NPB draft.  At 29 years and one month, he was the oldest player ever drafted at the time when he was chosen by Lotte in the sixth round.  His record would stand for eleven years before 30 years and five months old Norio Ichimura was taken by the Dragons in the third round of the 1982 draft.  Here's cards of the other two future NPB players:

1979 TCMA #82

2010 BBM Lions 60th Anniversary #64

The US team was not considered part of the official US Olympic team - they were actually on a tour of Japan and South Korea where they played a total of 14 games (including the Olympic games) - nine in Japan and five in Korea.  As such the team was not quartered in the Olympic Village and not allowed to take part in the Opening Ceremony.  I'd be curious to know how they felt looking beyond the left field stands of Jingu Stadium and seeing the Olympic torch burning in the Olympic Stadium a short distance away.  You can see the torch in the background of this photo of the pre-game lineup from one of the games (it's also visible in the background of the two team photos):