When it comes to Major League Baseball, most fans are aware of the Japanese stars that come from the Far East to see if they can succeed on the grandest of stages against the world's finest baseball players.
From Daisuke Matsuzaka to Ichiro Suzuki and all the way back to Hideo Nomo, many of these "foreign imports" are household names, even to casual baseball fans.
But how about the former big league stars who traveled east to see if they could resuscitate their careers in hopes that US teams might take notice and offer one more big league contract?
Sometimes it works out for these former big league studs (or duds) that have career-extending aspirations.
Other times it doesn't work out at all.
Regardless, most of these men mentioned in this article are players we've all grown up admiring, following, or maybe even envying as they tore their way through the big leagues with varying levels of success.
It's only fair that their names be known—not just as former Major League Baseball players, but as men who did what it took to prolong their career, or wanted just one final taste of professional glory; the chance to wow a group of spectators one final time.
Thus, I give you 11 former big leaguers that you may not have known played in the Nippon Professional Baseball League; some for one season, some for a few more.