Boston Red Sox pitchers Koji Uehara and Junichi Tazawa paid a visit to U.S. Ambassador Caroline Kennedy in Tokyo last Tuesday. The two are back in the country on a 2013 World Series Trophy tour, and have made several stops, including visiting Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the U.S. ambassador afterwards.
Both players for the Boston Red Sox were instrumental in clinching the title during the 2013 World Series. Uehara’s ninth inning secured the 6-1 victory over St. Louis Cardinals. The win handed the Red Sox its third championship in a decade. Tazawa, meanwhile, pitched 13 out of 16 post-season games. The US Ambassador was delighted with the visit, saying that, “it was a great event.” Acknowledging the part of the two players in the series, Kennedy, speaking at a reception at the Embassy’s house said that “last fall’s victory would not have happened without these two players tonight.” Prior to the reception at the embassy, the two met up with the prime minister to talk discuss baseball, and afterwards presented him with a Red Sox jersey.
Present at the reception was Masanori Murakami, formerly an outfielder from the New York Yankees. Murakami was Japan’s first baseball player to have ever graced the MLB. Joining him were Hideku Matsui, 2009 World Series MVP and Seiji Ozawa, conductor and former music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Ozawa is also a known fan of the Boston Red Sox. At the reception, Kennedy expressed appreciation for MLB’s support in the fostering good relations between the U.S. and Japan. “You and your players – past and present – are ambassadors of goodwill to millions of fans here in Japan,” Kennedy said. “Thank you for continuing the great legacy of baseball diplomacy between our two countries,” she further added.