Induction Ceremony for 2009 Hall of Famers
The Induction Ceremony for the 2009 Hall of Famers was held at Sapporo Dome preceding _Game 1 of the 2-game All-Star Series on Friday, July 24, 2009. It was held as part of the opening ceremony. Tsutomu Wakamatus, Michiko Aota, (widow of Noboru Aota) and Hiroji Ookoso (son of Yoshinori Ohkoso, and present owner of the Fighters) were warmly greeted by all the managers, coaches and members of the Central and Pacific Leagues' All-Stars who stood along the two foul lines. The new Hall of Famers and their guests stood near the pitcher' s mound while the big screen introduced the playing days of the new Hall of Famers.
Ryozo Kato, Chairman of the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, awarded them with a replica of their plaques which are to be displayed on the wall of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Then a bouquet presentation was made: from Kato to Wakamatsu, and from Tatsunori Hara (Manager of the Tokyo Giants) to Michiko Aota, and from Masataka Nashida (Manager of the Hokkaido
Nippon Ham Fighters) to Ohkoso. After photo taking, Wakamatsu, the first Hall of Famer who was born in Hakkaido, made an acceptance speech on behalf of the new inductees, receiving a standing ovation from the capacity spectators.
The Inductrion Ceremony for Ichiro Kimijima, 168th Hall of Famer, is scheduled to be held at Gakushi-Kaikan ( the birthplace of baseball in Japan) on Friday, September 18, 2009.
(Photo from left: Tsutomu Wakamatsu, Ryozo Kato, Tatsunori Hara, grandson of Noboru Aota, Michiko Aota, Masataka Nashida, and Keiji Ohkoso)