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Chiba Lotte Marines manager Bobby Valentine was selected Tuesday as the recipient of the Golden Spirit award for his positive contribution to Japanese society.

Valentine, who guided Lotte to its first Japan Series championship in 31 years last month and the inaugural Asia Series crown Sunday, proposed having a preseason charity game in March for the areas affected by the devastating earthquakes off northern Sumatra and Niigata last year.

The former New York Mets and Texas Rangers manager has also raised funds to support Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.

Valentine, 55, became the first manager to receive the award.

Outfielders Hideki Matsui and Norihiro Akahoshi have won it.

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