In 2002, Lefty O’Doul was inducted into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame. His plaque (pictured on the left) notes his being inducted as a contributor, especially for his visits to Japan in the 1930s, helping start Japanese professional baseball in 1935 and naming the Tokyo Giants, his 1949 goodwill baseball tour that General Douglas MacArthur called the greatest piece of diplomacy in American history, bringing four Japanese stars to America in 1951 to work out in spring training, bringing the San Francisco Giants to Japan in 1960, and helping develop and improve the game in Japan.
In June 2002, there was a celebration held at O’Doul’s restaurant on Geary Street to celebrate his induction. The Japanese consul was well represented, and a ceremonial cask of sake was broken open in his honor. There was a flim of his life shown, and a two “cakes” of nine hundred chrysanthemums were brought out representing U.S. and Japan flags. (as shown below–left to right, Tom O’Doul, Con Dempsey, Dino Restelli, Cappy Harada, Kerry Yo Nakagawa.)
The black and whote photo below is also from that celebration. Seated, left to right, Dino Restelli, Cappy Harada, Warriors owner Franklin Mieuli, legendary basketball coach Pete Newell, and Con Dempsey. Standing, are (unknown), Tom O’Doul, and Kerry Yo Nakagawa.
The photos of the celebration are courtesy of Kerry Yo Nakagawa.