Daisuke Matsuzaka, Hideki Okajima Lead Red Sox Relief Efforts for Earthquake Victims in Japan


March 14, 2011

FORT MYERS, Fla. — Red Sox pitchers Daisuke Matsuzaka and Hideki Okajima are leading a team initiative to encourage fans to donate to the relief efforts in earthquake-stricken Japan.

Matsuzaka and Okajima, as well as fellow Japanese pitchers Junichi Tazawa and Itsuki Shoda, are each making personal donations to the Red Cross and urging others to help out through the organization's charity, the Red Sox Foundation.

Every penny donated through the foundation will benefit the Red Cross relief efforts in the wake of the 9.0-magnitude quake and subsequent tsunami which struck Japan last week.

The Red Sox Foundation has already committed $50,000 to the effort.

"Japan has been brave fighting through damages caused by the earthquake and tsunami," Matsuzaka said on a Japanese-language video message now posted on redsox.com and redsoxfoundation.org.

"We are especially concerned with all those who are missing and are waiting to be rescued," Okajima said in the same video.  "And we pray for their safe return to their family and friends."

The four pitchers will be at the home plate gate at City of Palms Park on Monday night collecting donations from fans coming into the park. They also plan to join Red Sox staff in doing the same before the March 17 game against the New York Mets.

Those interested in making a donation can do so through the foundation website or via mail by sending a check to:

Red Sox Foundation
4 Yawkey Way
Boston, MA 02215.

Again, 100 percent of donations will support the Red Cross relief effort in Japan.

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