Ex-baseball star Ramirez gets Foreign Minister’s award for contributions to Japan-Venezuela relations

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Former Japan pro baseball star and manager Alex Ramirez, left, smiles as receives the Foreign Minister’s Commendation certificate from State Foreign Minister Shunsuke Takei at the Foreign Ministry on Thursday.

Former Japan pro baseball star and manager Alex Ramirez was presented with the Foreign Minister’s Commendation on Thursday for his contribution to promoting mutual understanding between Japan and his native country of Venezuela.

“He is affectionately known as Rami-chan, and his attitude conveyed the joy of sports, which is a perfect model for Japanese people,” said State Foreign Minister Shunsuke Takei, who presented Ramirez with a certificate in Tokyo.

Ramirez, 48, said he would do his best to continue promoting friendship between the two countries.

Ramirez played for 13 seasons in Japan pro baseball with the Yakult Swallows, Yomiuri Giants and Yokohama DeNA BayStars, accumulating over 2,000 hits and earning the Central League MVP award twice. He also served as BayStars manager from 2016 to 2020, leading the team to the 2017 Japan Series.