One-of-a-kind autographed plate from 1956 Dodgers Goodwill Tour to Japan


Twelve baseball Hall of Famers are included in the 40 members of the Dodgers’ travel party who signed this one-of-a-kind plate, presented to Dodger President Walter O’Malley, who organized the tour. The bold signatures from November 6, 1956 are just as clear as the day they were signed on the Noritake plate with Mt. Fuji in the background. Hall of Famers include Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Pee Wee Reese, Gil Hodges, Duke Snider, Don Drysdale, Manager Walter Alston, Coach Billy Herman, President Walter O’Malley, broadcaster Vin Scully and umpire Jocko Conlan. Highly-respected sports columnist Sotaro Suzuki was designated by trip sponsor and Yomiuri founder Matsutaro Shoriki as the ambassador to invite the Dodgers to travel to Japan in the fall of 1956 and make all arrangements. In 1968, Suzuki was inducted into the Japan Baseball Hall of Fame. Other notables signed the plate at the Noritake factory in Nagoya, including Peter O’Malley and his sister Terry O’Malley, Don Newcombe, Carl Erskine, Jim Gilliam, Clem Labine, Don Zimmer and Ralph Branca.

A similar plate with less signatures has been displayed at the Noritake Museum at the factory in Nagoya.