Photos, Sotaro Suzuki correspondence about “Kasuga” stone lantern and traditional Japanese Garden at Dodger Stadium


In gratitude for his visit to Dodger Stadium’s Grand Opening on April 9-10, 1962, Sotaro Suzuki wanted to send a special “thank you” gift to Dodger President Walter O’Malley. Upon his return to Japan, Suzuki searched for and found the perfect acknowledgment – a traditional “Kasuga” stone lantern. Suzuki was a highly-respected columnist and was a confidant of Yomiuri Giants’ founder Matsutaro Shoriki, known as “the father of professional baseball in Japan.” In 1956, Suzuki had traveled to New York to invite O’Malley and the Dodgers team to participate in a goodwill fall tour. Suzuki found the Shimizugumi Stone Works Company to manufacture the 8-foot tall, 3,921-pound “Kasuga” and ship in six sections during the winter of 1965. O’Malley greatly appreciated the gift, making the lantern the centerpiece of a traditional Japanese garden at Dodger Stadium established on the hill adjacent to Parking Lot 37.