(L-R) Dodger Manager Walter Alston; Tokyo Yomiuri Giants Manager Tetsuharu Kawakami. Alston won four World Championships for the Dodgers and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1983. Kawakami managed the Giants to nine consecutive Japan Series championships and was inducted into the Japan Baseball Hall of Fame in 1965.


Tetsuharu Kawakami

Tetsuharu Kawakami was the Tokyo Yomiuri Giants manager from 1961-1974, following his 18-year playing career as a first baseman, where he was a member of 7 Japan Series winners. He was inducted into the Japan Baseball Hall of Fame in 1965. Kawakami led the 1961 Giants to train at Dodgertown, Vero Beach, Florida and he started his friendship with Peter O’Malley who was responsible for the Giants’ schedule and all arrangements from their arrival to departure. The Giants, under Kawakami’s leadership, won 11 Japan Series championships, including 9 consecutive titles from 1965-1973. Kawakami’s Giants defeated the Dodgers four of the seven games in Japan.

In July, 2001, Peter and Hall of Fame Dodger Manager Tommy Lasorda spent time with Kawakami and Tokyo Yomiuri Giants Manager Shigeo Nagashima in Tokyo. In 1937, Kawakami’s high school team (Kumamoto Tech) played in the Koshien tournament and lost in the championship game. He took a handful of dirt and put it in his uniform pocket to savor the memory. That started the tradition of high school players scooping “the dirt of Koshien” as a memento of their time, however brief, on the hallowed Koshien Stadium field. Kawakami passed on October 28, 2013 at the age of 93.