|Posted 9h 25m ago ||
"They presented me with a medal that was just gorgeous, and a scroll in England and in Japanese," the 81-year-old former manager of the Dodgers told the Associated Press. "That's right up there with the Hall of Fame. I was just overwhelmed."
On behalf of the Emperor of Japan, Consul General Junichi Ihara presented Lasorda with the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette.
Lasorda, who managed the Dodgers from 1977-96 and was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1997, has been working with teams and players from Japan for more than 40 years. He is credited with helping the early success of the Tokyo Giants in the 1960s, the success of pitcher Hideo Nomo when he joined the Dodgers in 1995, and the success of the World Baseball Classic, an international tournament won by Japan in 2006. The second WBC will be staged next March.
"You don't do these things to get anything back," Lasorda said. "To see something like this, of great magnitude, I was overwhelmed. This has to be at or near the top for me because it's the country. It's not the Rotary Club or something like that. This is the country of Japan and the Emperor."