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Tommy Lasorda Honored for Contributions to Japanese Baseball

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity & Colmes," December 3, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: All right, he managed the L.A. Dodgers for 20 seasons and is a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Now our good friend, Tommy Lasorda, can add another accolade to his famed career. Recently, he was awarded the Order of the Rising Son by the emperor of Japan because of his contributions to Japanese baseball. He joins us now.

Is that the medal? Right there?

TOMMY LASORDA, BASEBALL HALL OF FAMER: Yes, it is.

HANNITY: This I've got to hear about. And by the way, it doesn't surprise me, because you're president of the world. Tell me about it.

Video: Watch Sean & Alan's interview

LASORDA: Well, thank you, Sean. Yes, this is the medal I received yesterday. It's presented to very few people. And nobody — I don't think anybody in America has had it.

HANNITY: Yes.

LASORDA: And it's the Order of the imperial Japan, and it's called the Order of the Rising Sun.

HANNITY: Boy, that's...

LASORDA: And it is just tremendous. You know, I was in awe. I couldn't believe. I've been honored many, many times, but to be honored by a nation was just great, and creating a great relationship between two countries who really and truly like each other.

HANNITY: You know what? I think that's very well said, and I can't think of any more deserving person than you.

I've gotten to know you over the years. One of the things that I love about Tommy Lasorda, not only your passion for the game. I love the fact, years ago, there was an athlete — I won't mention the name again. Got into trouble. You said, "It's about character."

It's — you've always stood for values. You've always helped the kids that you're coaching, you know, become better people in the process of their fame, which sometimes with these young guys is pretty tough.

You follow through. I've watched you among crowds. You'll sign every autograph. You send, you know, Dodger memorabilia to anybody that asks. You know, I just — I think it's a well-deserved honor. I say congratulations to you. And you've done a lot of good work out there, Tone — Tommy.

LASORDA: You know, when you — when you become the manager of a major league team, particularly the Dodgers, to me, that's a privilege and an honor. No matter where you go or what you do, you represent that position that you have. And you represent that organization that gave you the opportunity to be doing what you're doing.

HANNITY: Let me ask you this. What about — look at our country. What could they learn from these successful strategies that you have developed in your career? Because I think we could use a little Tommy Lasorda, you know, strategy on the economy, on national defense, to be honest, and the cheer that you bring to the job.

LASORDA: Well, Sean, I spoke to a thousand people in New Orleans on Veterans Day. And the thing that I mentioned to them, I don't try to use this platform politically.

I just want to say this. It's getting to be like a football game. This — all the fans in the stands are pulling for a team, and all the fans in the other stands are pulling against a team. That's what is happening in our country.

I do not care whether you're a Democrat or you're a Republican or an independent. We must pull for the people who are wearing the uniform of the armed forces. These people weren't drafted. They enlisted, because they believe. And they do something for their country.

I don't care what party you are. We should all pull for them. We should all hope and pray that they are safe. They're over there, putting themselves in harm's way, trying to do things that are right for us.

ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Hey, Tommy...

LASORDA: And here some people wan to wish that we lose. I don't think...

COLMES: I don't think anybody wants us to lose, Tommy. We may disagree with foreign policy. Nobody wants us to — and no one wants the troops...

HANNITY: Harry Reid said we lost the war.

COLMES: Do you want to get into that now, or should I talk to Tommy Lasorda?

HANNITY: Well, you know what my opinion is.

COLMES: Tommy, I understand when you got this award from Japan, it actually rendered you speechless. Is that true?

I can't believe it. We've rendered Tommy Lasorda speechless. It was that much of a touching moment for you, right?

LASORDA: It was an outstanding moment. I'm in awe. I couldn't believe the day would come that I would be honored by the nation of Japan. And I'm proud of it. I've gone over there many, many times to teach them how to play baseball...

COLMES: Right.

LASORDA: ... to teach them how to win games. And I've been proud of them, because they've always made me feel good, and to receive this award, you see this medal right here?

COLMES: All right. We're just out of time, unfortunately. But thank you. Thank you so much. Congratulations on the award. It looks great.

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