Former Los Angeles Dodgers owner Peter O’Malley will be honored by the Japanese government Wednesday night as part of the team’s annual Japan Night.
O’Malley will receive “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.
The decoration, conferred by Emperor Akihito, will be presented by Harry H. Horinouchi, Japan’s consul general in Los Angeles, in a ceremony before the game against the Philadelphia Phillies.
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, whose sale of the Dodgers to the Fox Group was completed in 1998, now chairs Historic Dodgertown — Vero Beach, Florida, the effort to continue use of the Dodgers’ former spring training site. It was used in April by the Edmonton Eskimos and Montreal Alouettes of the Canadian Football League for minicamps.
Japan Night will also include an appearance by the Nisei Week Court, a Taiko Drum performance by LA Matsuri Taiko, Japan-born actress Keiko Takeshita performing the Japanese and U.S. national anthems, Hello Kitty throwing the ceremonial first pitch and the first 40,000 fans in attendance receiving a Hello Kitty plush.
The Nihon Teriyaki Dog will be available at the Extreme Loaded Dog concession areas on the field, loge and reserve levels. It is a quarter-pound all-beef Super Dodger Dog dipped in teriyaki sauce, served on sweet Hawaiian bread and topped with a pineapple, cilantro and diced tomato salsa.
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