Red Sox relief pitchers Junichi Tazawa and closer Koji Uehara, who was named the American League Championship Series Most Valuable Player, and Wally the Green Monster will visit Tokyo to share the 2013 Commissioner's Trophy, presented annually to the World Series Champions, with baseball fans in Japan.
The schedule will include events for members of the public to view the trophy as well as private events. On January 20, Wally will land at Narita Airport with the trophy. On January 21, Tazawa, Uehara and Wally will present the trophy and a Red Sox jersey to the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzō Abe. In the evening, a reception will be held at the residence of Ambassador Caroline Bouvier Kennedy. On January 22, fans will have the opportunity to get an autograph and pose for photos with Wally, as he explores the sights of Tokyo before bringing the trophy in the evening to the MLB Café, a MLB themed restaurant serving a menu inspired by American ballpark food.
Throughout the offseason, Major League Baseball players have been traveling around the globe to share their passion for the game with fans and young players.
In addition to the Japan trip, in November, All-Star New York Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson, Roger Bernadina of the 2013 Netherlands World Baseball Classic team and Chris Dickerson visited France and the Netherlands as part of the fourth-annual "European Big League Tour."
In December, Jeremy Guthrie of the Kansas City Royals traveled to China to conduct training sessions for the young ballplayers at the MLB Development Center in Changzhou and the Pittsburgh Pirates' Mark Melancon served as a guest instructor at the MLB African Elite Camp in Durban, South Africa. Yan Gomes of the Cleveland Indians, the first Brazilian-born player to play in the Major Leagues when he debuted in 2011, represented baseball in his home country in December.
In February, relief pitcher LaTroy Hawkins will serve as a pitching instructor at the MLB Brazil Elite Camp which brings together 50 of the best players in South America.
In addition, Patrick Corbin and Paul Goldschmidt of the Arizona Diamondbacks and A.J. Ellis of the Los Angeles Dodgers traveled to Sydney, Australia in advance of the 2014 Opening Series, which will take place March 22 and 23, at the historic Sydney Cricket Ground. The Series will mark the first-ever regular season games played on the continent.
Tiffany & Co. creates the Commissioner's Trophy each year in its workshop in New Jersey. The 24-inch high trophy features 30 flags, one for each Major League Baseball team, with latitude/longitude lines symbolizing the world, and 24-karat gold vermeil stitches representing those on a baseball. Etched on the base are the words, "Presented by the Commissioner of Baseball," along with the signature of Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig.
About MLB International
Major League Baseball International (MLBI) focuses on the worldwide growth of baseball and the promotion of Major League Baseball and MLB Club trademarks and copyrights through special events, broadcasting, market development, licensing and sponsorship initiatives. MLBI is committed to showcasing the world's best baseball talent through international events around the globe. MLBI executes and supports game development programs targeting players and coaches from grassroots to elite levels. With an extensive list of marketing partners worldwide, MLBI continues to grow its position as a leader in the international marketplace. MLBI is supported in its mission through presences in Beijing, New York, London, Sydney and Tokyo.