The Government of Japan announced that former Los Angeles Dodgers owner Peter O’Malley was the recipient of “The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon,” for the contributions he has made promoting friendly relations through baseball between Japan and the U.S. and the development of baseball in Japan.
O’Malley has made approximately 85 trips to Japan. His first came in 1956 when he joined his parents, Walter and Kay, and his sister, Terry, accompanying the National League champion Brooklyn Dodgers on their first goodwill tour to Japan.
“I am extremely humbled and grateful for this honor,” O’Malley said. “The 1956 trip introduced me to the people of Japan and they made a lasting impact on me.
“I saw first-hand fan enthusiasm throughout the country, their appreciation of baseball and warm welcome to the Dodger team. Consequently, I was fortunate to establish lifetime friendships through the common language of baseball and I’ve enjoyed bringing people together from the two countries.”
The Government of Japan established The Order of the Rising Sun on April 10, 1875. It is the highest honor for a citizen not from Japan. It is awarded to those who have “distinguished achievements in international relations, promotion of Japanese culture, advancements in their field, development in welfare or preservation of the environment.”
O’Malley will be presented with the award in Los Angeles at a date to be scheduled.
O’Malley now chairs Historic Dodgertown — Vero Beach, Florida, the effort to continue use of the Dodgers former spring training site. It was used this month by the Edmonton Eskimos and Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League for minicamps.
—City News Service
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