The vast majority of players seen in this photo are members of the Japan Hall of Fame. This group was assembled for nine games played between November 20th and December 5th against the West All Stars at Koshien Stadium. The East team won the first game 4-3 with the immortal Victor Starffin (HOF) (pictured second from left in the top row) getting the win over Takehiko Bessho (HOF) . Starffin beat Bessho in the 8th game as well. The East team ended up winning five of the nine contests. Other winning pitchers for the East that appear in the photo include Shigeaki Kuroo (2 wins) and Tokuji Kawasaki.
There are many more HOFers in this photo. We can readily identify Victor Starffin, Michio Nishizawa, Makoto Kozuru, Kazuto Tsuruoka, Hiroshi Nakao, Tetsuharu Kawakami, Hiroshi Oshita, Noboru Aota, Hideo Fujimoto and Shigeru Chiba. There are probably others as well. We know the photo is from the 1948 series, as Nishizawa is wearing a Stars uniform (he was a Dragon beginning in 1949), and Aota is wearing a Giants uniform (he joined the Giants in 1948). This one-of-a-kind original item would be at home in the collection of anyone who prizes early postwar Japan Pro Baseball photographs.
Size: 4 1/8" x 3"