March, 1957 – (L-R) Walter O’Malley; Tokyo Yomiuri Giants Manager Shigeru Mizuhara; Mary Smith, Dodger co-owner; Sotaro Suzuki, Japan Hall of Fame columnist. Yomiuri Manager Shigeru Mizuhara and respected columnist Sotaro Suzuki escorted two Yomiuri players to Dodgertown, Vero Beach, Florida so they could participate in Spring Training on the invitation of O’Malley.


Shigeru Mizuhara

Shigeru Mizuhara was a frequent visitor to Dodger Stadium and the first Tokyo Yomiuri Giants Manager to be invited by Walter O’Malley to Dodgertown, Vero Beach, Florida in spring 1957. Immediately after the Dodgers 1956 Goodwill Tour to Japan, O’Malley wanted to continue the many friendships made and asked famed Yomiuri columnist Sotaro Suzuki, Mizuhara and two players – Sho Horiuchi, a pitcher and Shigeru Fujio, a catcher – to Dodgertown, Vero Beach, Florida to observe and workout with the Dodgers during Spring Training. Mizuhara made his debut for the Tokyo Kyojin/Yomiuri Giants in 1936, their first season in the newly-formed Japanese Baseball League, and played through the 1950 season. An infielder, he was actually a player-manager in 1950 and continued with the Giants through 1960 as skipper. Mizuhara then managed the Toei Flyers from 1961-67 and the Chunichi Dragons from 1969-1971. He played for four Japan Series championship teams, managed his teams to five Japan Series championships (four with Yomiuri and one with Toei) and was inducted into the Japan Baseball Hall of Fame in 1977. Mizuhara made regular visits to visit with Peter O’Malley in Los Angeles in 1970, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1976, 1977 and 1980. Mizuhara passed away at age 73 on March 26, 1982.