Japan Hall of Famer of the Tokyo Yomiuri Giants Shigeo Nagashima and Dodger President Peter O’Malley attend the memorial service for longtime O’Malley assistant Akihiro "Ike" Ikuhara on January 27, 1993 in Tokyo, Japan. Nagashima first met O’Malley at Dodgertown, Vero Beach, Florida in 1961 when the Giants trained at the camp.


Shigeo Nagashima

Shigeo Nagashima is considered one of the top two baseball players from Japan. It was in 1961 when he first met Peter O’Malley during the Tokyo Yomiuri Giants’ first team visit to Dodgertown, Vero Beach, Florida. Peter was responsible for the Giants’ schedule and all arrangements from arrival to departure. Nagashima played as a third baseman for the Giants from 1958-74 and then became Yomiuri manager from 1975-80 and 1993-2001. The Japan Baseball Hall of Famer (inducted in 1988) was a six-time Central League batting champion and member of 11 Japan Series championship teams as a player. As manager, Nagashima won three additional Japan Series. 

In 1975, he led the Giants pre-season training at Dodgertown. He is known as “Mr. Baseball” in Japan. In the 1970s, Nagashima visited with Peter and his family at home in Los Angeles. On January 29, 1988, Nagashima and Japan Hall of Fame pitcher Motoshi Fujita went to Dodger Stadium to present an extraordinary gift from Tokyo Yomiuri Giants owner Toru Shoriki to Peter. The pair unveiled an impressive suit of armor to Peter with great appreciation from the Giants. On November 5, 1989, Peter and his assistant Akihiro “Ike” Ikuhara were invited to attend a Victory Party at the New Otani Hotel in Tokyo. The Giants had defeated Kintetsu to win the Japan Series in seven games. Nagashima was in attendance and visited with Peter and Ike. Peter invited Nagashima’s son Kazushige to play for the Dodgers’ Single-A team in Vero Beach for the 1992 season under the supervision of Ike Ikuhara (Peter’s assistant). 

On July 9, 2001, Peter was in Tokyo with Hall of Fame Dodger Manager Tommy Lasorda and they met with Nagashima, who was in his final season as Giants manager and Giants’ Hall of Fame first baseman and longtime manager Tetsuharu Kawakami. On January 27, 1993, Peter was in Tokyo to pay tribute at a memorial service to his longtime friend Ikuhara, who had passed on October 26, 1992. Peter and Nagashima walked into the service together. Nagashima received the People’s Honour Award on May 5, 2013, bestowed by the Prime Minister of Japan. Nagashima videotaped a message of congratulations to Peter O’Malley on the occasion of Peter receiving the high honor “The Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Neck Ribbon” on July 8, 2015 at Dodger Stadium during on-field ceremonies. Nagashima said, “I first met Mr. O’Malley in 1961 when (the) Yomiuri Giants went to Vero Beach for a training camp. He kindly made the arrangements for the 40-day long camp. Since then, we have had a great relationship over half a century. It is my great pleasure that Peter was awarded the wonderful order.”