October 1970, Korakuen Stadium, Tokyo, Japan
Japan Series (Tokyo Yomiuri Giants vs. Lotte Orions). Giants won in five games.
L-R: Japan Baseball Hall of Fame columnist Sotaro Suzuki; Dodger President Peter O'Malley; Toru Shoriki, owner, Tokyo Yomiuri Giants.
Suzuki was instrumental in encouraging the Brooklyn Dodgers to play a Goodwill Series in Japan following the 1956 World Series. The trip was so significant that on May 8, 2016, the Wall Street Journal wrote a story and its sub headline was "Sixty Years Ago, the Brooklyn Dodgers Toured Japan and Changed Baseball Forever." In the 1931 and 1934, Suzuki coordinated a trip of American baseball players to play a series of games in Japan with a team that included Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Jimmie Foxx. He was a significant factor to continue Japan baseball following World War II.
Toru Shoriki was the owner of the Yomiuri Group, the parent company of Yomiuri Shimbun Holdings, the most prominent media company in Japan. The Yomiuri Giants were begun by his father, Matsutaro Shoriki, and Toru would later assume his duties. Yomiuri Shimbun is regarded as having the largest newspaper circulation in the world.

Dodger Milestones in the Development of International Baseball During the O’Malley Era: The 1970s

Researched and edited by Brent Shyer and Robert Schweppe

  • On St. Patrick’s Day at Dodgertown, Vero Beach, FL, it is announced that Peter O’Malley is named Dodger President, while his father Walter becomes Dodger Chairman of the Board

  • Peter O’Malley attends the Japan Series as a guest of Toru Shoriki, Tokyo Yomiuri Giants owner, becoming the first official of an American major league team to watch a Japan Series (the Giants beat Lotte), as initially reported in the Los Angeles Times.

  • The Tokyo Yomiuri Giants return to Dodgertown, Vero Beach, FL for their third team visit. Yomiuri won the 1971 Japan Series

  • Peter O’Malley makes arrangements for Sadayuki Tokutake, a retired bonus player with the Yakult Swallows who later finished his playing career for Chunichi, to observe the Dodger spring training camp and stay the entire summer in Los Angeles for further study

  • The Dodgers host two Italian coaches and two players at Dodgertown to participate in pre-season workouts. The coach of the Italian National team, Salvano Ambrosioni visited Dodgertown to learn Dodger instructional techniques. Dodger Coach Tom Lasorda, fluent in Italian, insisted Ambrosioni sit with him during staff meetings

  • One year after the inaugural Japan-USA College Baseball Championship Series was held in Japan, Peter O’Malley makes arrangements for the second Japan-USA College Baseball Championship Series to be played at Dodger Stadium on June 22-24 and hosts it again in 1977, 1980 and 1982

  • Peter O’Malley makes a trip to the Philippines and Taiwan to meet with baseball officials

  • The Tokyo Yomiuri Giants return to Dodgertown, Vero Beach, FL to train for the fourth time

  • Peter O’Malley sends a new pitching machine to the Philippines to assist in the development of youth baseball

  • The Dodgers and New York Mets play two exhibition games in the Dominican Republic, the first time two major league teams have played in that country. The Dodgers won both games

  • Peter O’Malley donates baseball and softball equipment (gloves, bats and balls) to Escuela Americana in El Salvador

  • In friendship with Lusaka, the capital of the Republic of Zambia and the City of Los Angeles’ sister city, Peter O’Malley sends baseball equipment

  • Bruno Beneck, president of the Italian Baseball Federation, and his assistant Max Ceccotti are guests of Peter O’Malley at Dodgertown, Vero Beach, FL

  • The Dodgers sign pitcher Fernando Valenzuela from Mexico

  • Dodger Chairman of the Board Walter O’Malley passes away in Rochester, MN. In Tokyo, the Yomiuri Giants and Taiyo Whales stand for a moment of silence before their game to honor his memory

  • Peter O’Malley hosts meetings of 100 baseball officials from 38 countries at the Association International Baseball Amateur (AINBA) Extraordinary Congress in Los Angeles to devise a plan for baseball to be included in the 1984 Olympic Games in L.A., with a long-term strategy to earn gold medal status in future Olympics

  • At the request of the Australian Baseball Federation, Dodger Coaches Red Adams and Monty Basgall were sent to Australia as guest instructors