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Mr. Sadaharu Oh "Work hard without being complacent."

Speech at unveiling ceremony for commemorative nameplate of Mr. Ike "Akihiro" Ikuhara and Mr. Peter O'Malley

Mr. Sadaharu Oh speaks to students regarding his view on life.

Mr. Sadaharu Oh (inaugural coach of the Japanese team in the World Baseball Classic, former coach of the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks), a specially recommended alumni of Waseda University, visited the Tokorozawa Campus on January 21st in order to participate in the unveiling ceremony for the commemorative nameplate of the Ike "Akihiro" Ikuhara and Peter O'Malley Memorial Sports Management Class. This class was created to commemorate the founding of the School of Sports Sciences and was held for a span of approximately 5 years. Mr. Oh participated as a special speaker at the commemorative event, speaking in front of Ms. Kimiko Ikuhara, the widow of Mr. Ike "Akihiro" Ikuhara, a man who worked hard to bridge the gap in baseball between Japan and America, as well as the former owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Mr. Peter O'Malley, and approximately 700 first year students of the School of Sports Sciences. Mr. Oh spoke about his own baseball vision, in which he constantly sought to perform as a homerun batter, and also conveyed the importance of continuing to work hard without being complacent.

"I have known Mr. Oh for 50 years and he is a man that I respect greatly," says Mr. O'Malley (right).

Mr. Oh, who is a graduate of Waseda Jitsugyo High School, showed his affection for Waseda by stating that "In a perfect world, I would have worn a hat with a maroon "W" and played baseball at Waseda. However, due to a strange turn of events, I became a professional player and the rest is history." He also revealed that "The reason that I was able to continue playing baseball was that I always wanted to smash monstrous homeruns and run around the diamond to home plate without being stopped by anyone." Mr. Oh elicited a large applause from the students in attendance when he passionately stated that "Life is much like an iceberg. It is possible to see only a small portion of the substance of successful persons. What is not seen is the hard work that was necessary to be successful. I hope that you will all remember this."

After his speech, Mr. Oh participated in the unveiling ceremony for the nameplate together with Ms. Ikuhara, Mr. O'Malley, Waseda University President Katsuhiko Shirai, and former President Takayasu Okushima. Ms. Ikuhara stated that "On behalf of the Ikuhara family, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude that this wonderful nameplate will exist forever at Waseda University and will be known to future generations. Thank you very much."

Ms. Kimiko Ikuhara (left) and Mr. Oh, gazing at the nameplate.

Mr. Oh (center) responds to applause by raising the Waseda Bear.

*Ike "Akihiro" Ikuhara and Peter O'Malley Memorial Sports Management Class

This class was established through the donations and kindness of Mr. Peter O'Malley. Mr. O'Malley, who served as the former owner and chairman of the Los Angeles Dodgers, worked for many years to contribute to the growth of Major League Baseball and international baseball. The class was established for students who wished to study sports management, and honored the achievements of Waseda Baseball alumni Ike "Akihiro" Ikuhara (deceased), who acted as a bridge between Japanese and American baseball while serving as an aide for Dodgers owners. The class was held a total of 10 times from May 2003 to March 2008.

Guest lecturers featured in the class (*Titles listed are as of the time of speaking).
(1)2003 Mr. Peter O'Malley (former Dodgers owner)
(2)2003 Mr. Tsunekazu Takeda (JOC Chairman)
(3)2004 Mr. Tommy Lasorda (Dodgers Senior Vice-President}
(4)2005 Mr. Saburo Kawabushi (JFA Captain)
(5)2005 Mr. Tadao Koike (Pacific League Chairman)
(6)2006 Mr. Atsuya Furuta (Tokyo Yakult Swallows Player-Manager)
(7)2006 Mr. Masato Mizuno (President of Mizuno Corporation)
(8)2006 Mr. George H.W. Bush (former President of the United States of America)
(9)2007 Mr. Colin Powell (former Secretary of Defense of the United States of America)
(10)2008 Mr. Bud Selig (9th Commissioner of MLB)