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Kuroda donates $50K to Japan relief

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Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda Tuesday pledged $50,000 to the earthquake and relief effort in his native Japan and urged his teammates to get on board as well, MLB.com reported.

Kuroda, not noted for his public addresses, spoke about the situation while standing in front of a full clubhouse at the Camelbank Ranch in Glendale, Ariz., where the Dodgers downed the Texas Rangers 7-6 in spring training.

"As everyone knows, Japan has been hit with the most devastating catastrophe in its history," said Kuroda, whose family is safe in Japan.

"Every year I donate $100,000 to the ThinkCure Foundation and I decided to take half of that and give it to earthquake relief," he said. "I decided to do this as soon as the earthquake happened."

Kuroda, who joined the Dodgers three years ago after 11 seasons in Japan, said he had not spoken to his family since Friday but was closely monitoring the situation through TV and the internet.

"I never stop watching," the 36-year-old said. "But it's just so unreal. It doesn't seem like my own country that's going through the crisis.

"Since I'm here I feel so helpless," he said. "This is the least I can do. I can't do anything about the people who died in this tragedy, but for the survivors, maybe this can help them get on with their lives and have something to look forward to."

The Dodgers also held a drive-through fund-raiser at Dodger Stadium Tuesday.

"I think it means a lot to the Japanese people that Major League Baseball and the teams are helping in this relief effort. As a representative of Japan, I am really grateful as well," Kuroda added.

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Tagged: Dodgers, Hiroki Kuroda

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