21 Japan Baseball Hall of Famers who have trained and visited Dodgertown, Vero Beach, Florida (now called Jackie Robinson Training Complex under the supervision of Major League Baseball)

Year Inducted

Takehiko Bessho


Kaoru Betto


Motoshi Fujita


Tatsunori Hara


Tatsuro Hirooka


Tsuneo Horiuchi


Senichi Hoshino


Akihiro “Ike” Ikuhara


Renzo Ishii


Masaichi Kaneda


Tetsuharu Kawakami


Shigeru Makino


Shigeru Mizuhara


Masaaki Mori


Shigeo Nagashima


Hideo Nomo


Hiromitsu Ochiai


Sadaharu Oh


Sotaro Suzuki


Kazuyoshi Tatsunami


Masahiro Yamamoto


Takehiko Bessho – right-handed pitcher for Nankai and Yomiuri from 1942-1960 won 310 career games. He was a two-time Japan Series MVP (1952 and 1955) for the Tokyo Yomiuri Giants. Was the Giants’ pitching coach when they visited Dodgertown in 1961 and later managed the professional Sankei Atoms from 1968-1970.

Kaoru Betto – outfielder for Osaka (1948-49) and Mainichi (1950-57) was 1950 Pacific League MVP and 1950 Japan Series MVP, leading Mainichi to its first Japan Series championship. He won 1,237 games in 20 seasons, managing from 1952-1979 for four professional teams in Japan. Guest of the Dodgers in 1960 Spring Training at Dodgertown and remained with the Dodgers during the season at the request of the Tokyo Daimai Orions owner.

Motoshi Fujita – right-handed pitcher for the Tokyo Yomiuri Giants from 1957-1964, winning 119 games in 9 seasons. In 1961, he trained at Dodgertown with the Giants. Fujita twice won Central League MVP honors (1958 & 1959). He later managed the Giants to two Japan Series championships (1981 & 1989).

(L-R): Takehiro Bessho, Tokyo Giants coach and former pitcher; Dodger Vice President Fresco Thompson; Infielder Shin Fujimoto. Two Tokyo Giants with Thompson watch training activities during their 1961 visit to Dodgertown in Vero Beach, Florida. Bessho was inducted into the Japan Baseball Hall of Fame in 1979.

November 5, 1989, Tokyo Yomiuri Giants Victory Party at New Otani Hotel, Tokyo, Japan. (L-R): Akihiro “Ike” Ikuhara, Motoshi Fujita, Manager of the Giants, Japan Baseball Commissioner Takezo Shimoda; Dodger President Peter O’Malley.

(L-R): Dodger Coach Leo Durocher; Tokyo Yomiuri Giants infielder Tatsuro Hirooka. Durocher points to his numerical counterpart with Yomiuri as the Giants held their 1961 spring training at Dodgertown, Vero Beach, Florida.

Tatsunori Hara – managed the Tokyo Yomiuri Giants to three Japan Series titles (2002, 2009, & 2012) and 1,096 wins in 14 seasons, following a playing career from 1981-1995. Hara trained at Dodgertown during 1981 spring and won Central League Rookie of the Year in 1981. In 1983, he was Central League MVP.

Tatsuro Hirooka – Tokyo Yomiuri Giants third baseman and shortstop from 1954-1966, winning the 1954 Central League Rookie of the Year. He trained at Dodgertown in 1961. Hirooka managed three teams to the Japan Series championship: 1978 Yakult Swallows and 1982 and 1983 Seibu Lions. He twice was recipient of the Matsutaro Shoriki Award, presented to a contributor to the development of professional baseball.

Tsuneo Horiuchi – right-handed pitcher for the Tokyo Yomiuri Giants from 1966-1983, who won 1966 Central League Rookie of the Year honors. Twice named Eiji Sawamura Award as top pitcher. He trained at Dodgertown four times (1967, 1971, 1975, & 1981). In 1972, Horiuchi was Central League MVP. He won 203 career games before managing the Giants in 2004-2005.

Senichi Hoshino – a right-handed pitcher (starter and relief) for the professional Chunichi Dragons of Nagoya, he compiled a 146-121 record with 34 saves from 1969-1982. He began his managerial career with Chunichi in 1987. The Dragons were invited by Peter O’Malley to train at Dodgertown, Vero Beach, Florida in 1988, Hoshino’s second season at the helm. Hoshino traveled to Tianjin, China for the opening of “Dodger Baseball Field”, privately built by O’Malley and opened September 12, 1986. In 17 seasons as manager for three Nippon Professional Baseball teams, Hoshino won 1,198 games.

Akihiro “Ike” Ikuhara

Tsuneo Horiuchi, pitcher, established a Japan Baseball record with 13 consecutive wins from the start of the season as a rookie in 1966. That season he went 16-2 and won the Sawamura Award as Japan’s top pitcher. Horiuchi pitched for the Giants from 1966-1983 and was inducted into the Japan Baseball Hall of Fame in 2008.

(L-R): Senichi Hoshino, Manager, Chunichi Dragons; Peter O’Malley, Dodger President; Akihiro “Ike” Ikuhara, Assistant to Dodger President Peter O’Malley (background); Miichiro Katoh, Chunichi Shimbun Chairman and owner of Chunichi Dragons. O’Malley says goodbye to Katoh at the Vero Beach Airport adjacent to Dodgertown, Vero Beach, Florida. Under first-year Manager Hoshino, the Dragons trained at Dodgertown from February 15-March 5, 1988.

Peter O’Malley and Akihiro “Ike” Ikuhara at Holman Stadium, Dodgertown, Vero Beach, Florida circa 1965. Ikuhara started his Dodger baseball executive career at Dodgertown in the spring of 1965.

Renzo Ishii – served as longtime head baseball coach at prestigious Waseda University in Tokyo. Ishii was Ike Ikuhara’s coach during his first stint with Waseda from 1957-1963. He returned as baseball coach from 1988-1994 and was invited by Peter O’Malley to bring the baseball team to Dodgertown, Vero Beach, Florida for training from February 17-March 1, 1994. Waseda’s visit marked the first time an amateur team had visited Dodgertown and trained alongside the major league Dodgers. 

Masaichi Kaneda

Tetsuharu Kawakami

Shigeru Makino – second baseman and shortstop for the Nagoya/Chunichi Dragons from 1952-1959. Makino coached the Tokyo Yomiuri Giants from 1961-1974 and again from 1981-1983. He intently studied the “Dodger Way to Play Baseball” at Dodgertown during 1961 Spring Training and used what he learned to help train the Giants players and staff. Makino was a coach for 11 Japan Series championships.

Dodgertown, Vero Beach, Florida, March 1, 1994.
(L-R): Dodger President Peter O’Malley presents Waseda University Head Baseball Coach Renzo Ishii with an inscribed bat from Waseda’s visit to train at Dodgertown for two weeks (February 17-March 1), marking the first time a collegiate team trained alongside the major league Dodgers. Ishii was posthumously inducted into the Japan Baseball Hall of Fame in 2020.

Dodgertown, Vero Beach, Florida, March 1967. (L-R): Masaichi Kaneda, pitcher for the Tokyo Yomiuri Giants and Don Sutton, pitcher for the Dodgers, are both preparing for the 1967 season at Dodgertown. Kaneda was inducted into the Japan Baseball Hall of Fame in 1988 with 400 wins, while Sutton was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998 with 324 MLB victories.

(L-R): Japan Hall of Fame sports columnist Sotaro Suzuki; Japan Hall of Fame Tokyo Giants Manager Tetsuharu Kawakami. Suzuki encouraged the Giants to spend their 1961 spring training with the Dodgers at Dodgertown, Vero Beach, Florida and Kawakami managed the team to a Japan Series championship. Kawakami managed the Giants to 11 Japan Series titles, including 9 consecutive from 1965-1973.

Shigeru Mizuhara

Masaaki Mori – catcher for the Tokyo Yomiuri Giants from 1955-1974. Mori, an 11-time Central League All-Star, was Japan Series MVP in 1967. Mori visited Dodgertown in 1961, 1967 and 1971. He managed the Seibu Lions (1986-1994) and the Yokohama BayStars (2001-2002), bringing a Japan Series title to Seibu in 1986. Mori twice was winner of the Matsutaro Shoriki Award (1986 & 1990). He holds the Nippon Professional Baseball record for being involved with the most pennant-winning teams at 27, combined as a player (16), coach (3) and manager (8).

Shigeo Nagashima

Hideo Nomo – signed as a pitcher for the Dodgers becoming the first Japan-born player to participate in Major League Baseball in 30 years. Nomo was responsible for bringing baseball’s popularity back from a prolonged 1994-1995 spring players’ strike. Known as “Warrior”, he had a brilliant rookie season, was named National League starting pitcher for the All-Star Game in Texas and touched off the phenomenon known as “Nomomania” as fans in Japan and America were captivated by his every performance. Giant TV screens were installed on buildings and street corners in 13 cities throughout Japan to show every Dodger start live, no matter what time of day locally. Nomo’s historic free agent signing opened the door for more than 65 Japan-born players to play MLB (as of the 2024 season). He won 123 games in MLB plus 78 in Nippon Professional Baseball.

Hiromitsu Ochiai – was recipient of numerous major awards in Nippon Professional Baseball, including the only three-time winner of the Triple Crown batting award (1982, 1985 & 1986). He was an infielder for four teams from 1979-1998. In 1988, he trained with Chunichi at Dodgertown. Ochiai managed the Chunichi Dragons from 2004-2011, winning the Japan Series in 2007.

Sadaharu Oh

Sotaro Suzuki

Kazuyoshi Tatsunami – infielder (2B, SS, 3B) for Chunichi who had a 22-year career for the Dragons (1988-2009). Tatsunami trained at Dodgertown in 1988 and was Central League Rookie of the Year (1988). He was an 11-time Nippon Professional Baseball All-Star, who played for the 2007 Japan Series champion Dragons and began his managerial career for them in 2022. 

Masanori Yamamoto – left-hand pitcher for the professional Chunichi Dragons of Nagoya who pitched one season for the 1988 Vero Beach Dodgers as he was struggling and trying to launch his career. Under the watchful eye and instruction of Dodger executive and former Asia University head baseball coach Akihiro “Ike” Ikuhara, Yamamoto learned a new pitch – the screwball – and his career took off. Yamamoto returned to the Dragons late in 1988 and went 5-0. He would have even greater success, as he completed a remarkable 29 seasons with Chunichi with 219 wins until his retirement in 2015 at age 50. He always paid tribute to Ikuhara for mentoring him and expressed appreciation to Dodger President Peter O’Malley for allowing him to stay in Vero Beach and for making arrangements for him to play minor league ball in the Florida State League with Ikuhara’s supervision and encouragement.