Fun fact: a Japanese player has appeared in every World Series since 2002, beginning with Tsuyoshi Shinjo with the San Francisco Giants. This year, I've noticed a number of NPB connections on the eight MLB playoff teams.
- Scapegoat Kosuke Fukudome played 10 years for the Chunichi Dragons.
- Derek Lee's father, Leon Lee, and uncle, Leron Lee, both played 10 years in Japan. Derek has said that he would like to finish his career in Japan.
- Alfonso Soriano came up through the Hiroshima Carp Domican Academy and played briefly in Japan before joining the Yankees.
Los Angeles Dodgers
- Pitchers Hiroki Kuroda and Takashi Saito are NPB veterans.
- Manager Charlie Manual played for the Yakult Swallows and Kintetsu Buffaloes in the late 70's and early 80's.
- Reserve bat Matt Stairs played for the Chunichi Dragons before sticking with an MLB team.
- Bench outfielder So Taguchi played for the Orix Blue Wave alongside Ichiro.
- Though neither one is on the playoff roster, Gabe Kapler and Joe Dillon both spent part of a season with the Yomiuri Giants.
- Solomon Torres pitched in Korea before making his MLB comeback.
Tampa Bay Rays
- Man of the hour Akinori Iwamura came over from the Yakult Swallows two years ago.
Chicago White Sox
- Former Softbank Hawk DJ Carrasco is on the White Sox' playoff roster.
Boston Red Sox
- Daisuke Matsuzaka and Hideki Okajima.
LA Angels of Anaheim
- Anyone know of any?