In a ceremony held at the Consulate-General’s residence in Brisbane on 23 January 2024, Mr. Danny Maruyama was awarded a commendation by Mr. Gomakubo Junji, recognising his outstanding contributions to baseball in Queensland and his efforts in fostering stronger ties between Australia and Japan through the sport.

With a remarkable history spanning over five decades, Mr. Maruyama has been a driving force in shaping the landscape of baseball in Queensland. His commitment to the sport goes beyond the field, as he played crucial roles in various capacities, from leading ABL teams to serving as a Director at Baseball Queensland.

One of Mr. Maruyama’s notable achievements is his dedication to fostering relationships between Australia and Japan through baseball. Prior to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, he actively facilitated high-quality games between in-bound Japanese teams and Queensland’s U16 and U18 teams. These competitive games proved instrumental in preparing the local teams for National Championships.

Additionally, Mr. Maruyama has played a pivotal role in the success of the Robina State High School’s Baseball Excellence Program. His continued efforts have contributed to the development of the program, the school’s facilities, and organised tours to Japan, creating unique cultural and sporting experiences for the students.

Gareth Jones, CEO of Baseball Queensland, had the honour of attending the ceremony and spoke highly of Mr. Maruyama’s contributions. “Mr. Maruyama has been a long-term contributor to baseball in Queensland, and he continues to support our efforts. I am pleased to see his generous support acknowledged in such a special way. It was great to bear witness to Mr. Maruyama accepting this honour with all due esteem.”

The commendation from the Consulate-General of Japan in Brisbane reflects not only Mr. Maruyama’s personal dedication but also the positive impact he has had on the broader community by bridging cultural gaps through the shared passion for baseball. The recognition serves as a testament to the importance of sports diplomacy in fostering international relations and cultural exchange.