03/14/2011 3:02 PM ET
Red Sox Support Relief Efforts in Japan
Daisuke Matsuzaka, Hideki Okajima Lead Effort to Collect Donations for Earthquake and Tsunami Victims
The Boston Red Sox today encouraged fans to join the team in showing support for those affected by the 8.9-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami that struck Japan last Friday.
Led by Red Sox pitchers Daisuke Matsuzaka, a native of Tokyo, Japan, and Hideki Okajima, from Kyoto, Japan, the team encouraged fans to consider making donations through the team charity, the Red Sox Foundation. 100 percent of donations received will be directed to the Red Cross relief efforts now underway in Japan. The Red Sox Foundation has committed to donate $50,000, and Matsuzaka and Okajima, along with fellow pitchers Junichi Tazawa and Itsuki Shoda, are each making personal donations.
Matsuzaka and Okajima recorded video messages in Japanese and English expressing support for their country and asking fans to make a donation. The videos and donation details are available on the Club's official website at redsox.com/japan, and on the charity's website, www.redsoxfoundation.org.
"Japan has been brave fighting through damages caused by the earthquake and tsunami," Matsuzaka said on the Japanese-language video message.
"We are especially concerned with all those who are missing and are waiting to be rescued," said Okajima, also on the Japanese-language video. "And we pray for their safe return to their family and friends."
Fans can help the victims of this devastating natural disaster by making a donation to the Red Sox Foundation, the official team charity of the Boston Red Sox. Fans can log on to www.redsoxfoundation.org to make a tax deductible donation via credit card online or by mail via check/money order. Checks should be made out to "Red Sox Foundation/Japan Relief" and sent to Red Sox Foundation, 4 Yawkey Way, Boston, MA 02215. Team officials noted that 100 percent of donations received will support the Red Cross relief efforts in Japan.
Red Sox Japanese players plan to join Red Sox staff at the gates as they open at City of Palms Park today, Monday, March 14th, and Thursday, March 17th, to collect donations from fans attending the games.
The Red Sox also observed a moment of silence prior to the home game on Saturday, March 12th, to remember those affected by the earthquake and tsunami. Matsuzaka, Okajima, Tazawa and Shoda joined athletic trainers Masai Takahashi and Kazu Sakita, interpreters Jeff Cutler and Kenta Yamada, massage therapist Mitsugi Funatsu, and Japanese media liaison Mikio Yoshimura on the field during the pregame ceremony.