by Anneli Rufus
The Oakland A's have just announced that they'll be raising funds to aid victims of today's massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
According to CSN: "The A’s open the 2011 season with a three-game series at the Oakland-Alameda Coliseum against the Seattle Mariners and plans are being made to add a fundraising component for Japanese Heritage Day, scheduled for the series’ final game Sunday, April 3."
Team member Hideki Matsui, who was a star player in his native Japan before bringing his talents to the US, and who lives part-time in Tokyo, issued a statement today.
“I am deeply concerned and affected by what is happening in Japan. I pray for the safety of all the people that have been affected and continue to be affected by this disaster," said Matsui, who played with the Yomiuri Giants and was a wildly popular and successful three-time MVP in the Japanese Central League — where his nickname was "Godzilla" — before signing with the New York Yankees in 2002 and the Los Angeles Angels in 2009. Last December, he signed a multimillion-dollar contract to play with the A's.
This isn't the first time Matsui has done his part for disaster survivors. In 2005, he donated $500,000 to aid victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami.
According to CSN: "The A’s said they will be working closely with Hiroshi Inomata, San Francisco’s Japanese Consul-General, and other community leaders in their efforts to support the tsunami victims."