Found this while Googling for more information on Shingo Takatsu's tryout with the Giants (there is none) - my home state of Illinois officially offered their friendship to Shingo back in 2004 when he was with the White Sox. Unfortunately, I was not a resident of Illinois at time this was issued, so I wasn't included in the 12.5 million Illinoisians Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn was representing. I hope Shingo considers me a friend anyway.
Here is the text of the declaration:
State of Illinois
Office of Lieutenant Governor Pat Quinn
WHEREAS, Japan - which enjoys a rich, century-old baseball tradition - has contributed greatly to Major League Baseball in the United States; and
WHEREAS, the Chicago White Sox – who visited Japan in 1913 to play the New York Giants in a goodwill tour – recently signed their first Asian-born player - Shingo Takatsu - who is a worthy ambassador; and
WHEREAS, drafted by the Yakult Swallows in 1991, Shingo Takatsu has had an illustrious career, becoming Japan's all-time saves leader with 260 saves and not allowing a single run in post-season play, earning him the nickname "Mr. Zero"; and
WHEREAS, Shingo Takatsu has already distinguished himself in the White Sox uniform by breaking a 17-year old record for pitching scoreless innings; and
WHEREAS, Major League Baseball has truly become global, with more than 3,100 players from 16 different nations playing professional baseball in the United States, including players from Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, China and Taiwan; and
WHEREAS, in these times of conflict, baseball's international accent has enriched our culture, and fostered understanding and tolerance among diverse groups; and
WHEREAS, at least 28,000 persons of Japanese descent reside in Illinois and a Japanese-American community has existed continuously in Chicago for more than a century; and
WHEREAS, we are humbled to join the Consul General of Japan - the Honorable Yutaka Yoshizawa - in welcoming Shingo Takatsu to Illinois,
THEREFORE, I, Pat Quinn, Lieutenant Governor of the State of Illinois, hereby extend a hand of friendship to Shingo Takatsu on behalf of Illinois' 12½ million people, including our growing Asian American community and baseball fans everywhere.
Dated this 24th day of June, 2004.
Illinois Lieutenant Governor