TOKYO — Hideki Matsui went to bat for children affected by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami and hit a home run.
The 2009 World Series MVP teamed up with former New York Yankees teammate Derek Jeter on Saturday to raise funds for children from Japan’s disaster-stricken Tohoku region.
"Jeter played a big role in all of this," Matsui said. "The kids had a magnificent day. Hopefully, when they go back to their everyday lives tomorrow, they’ll have new dreams to sustain them."
Jeter and Matsui conducted a youth baseball clinic then managed middle school teams in a three-inning contest, won 2-0 by Matsui’s squad.
The day’s final event was a home run derby between the U.S. and Japanese students. Matsui thrilled the fans when he stepped up to the plate and hit a towering homer over the right-field wall at Tokyo Dome, where he spent 10 seasons with the Yomiuri Giants before heading to the U.S.
During his four-day visit to Japan, Jeter also took in a sumo tournament and visited Matsui’s hometown.
"It was a wonderful few days," Jeter said. "Hideki showed me around, I got a chance to go see his hometown, I got a chance to see sumo wrestling and to top it off today was this great charity event. I’m grateful Hideki invited me and it’s all for a great cause."