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By Conway Jones The Oakland Athletics have raised over $50,000 in support of disaster relief efforts for Japan. This money has come from corporate sponsors and grassroots support for Japanese earthquake and tsunami victims. This disaster fundraising initiative by the Oakland A’s is setting an example for major league baseball to follow. The A’s announced that the team will donate $1 for every ticket sold to their April 3 game to the Red Cross for their relief efforts in Japan. The game on April third is designated as Japanese Heritage Day. Mike Crowley, Oakland A’s president said, “We would like to thank our fans and corporate sponsors for their support in helping our friends across the Pacific who are suffering during the aftermath of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. For those Bay Area residents who have not yet contributed, we encourage you to come out to Sunday’s game and make this truly a grassroots story.” The Honorable Hiroshi Inomata, Consul General for Japan, was also present at the press conference. When asked about the Tohoku District/Pacific Coast Earthquake, Japanese Consul General Hiroshi Inomata said, “I would like to express my profound gratitude for all the communications that the Consulate General has been receiving that express concern and sympathy for those affected by the earthquake. Early reports are that the Tohoku District/Pacific Ocean earthquake is of historic magnitude.” The team’s Japanese superstar, Hideki Matsui, has personally donated $620,000 to the Japanese Red Cross. “Through my performance here on the field, I hope the message I can portray to the people is to hang in there and give it your best. That is what I can do,” said Matsui through his interpreter at a news conference before the A’s hosted the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday night. There will be a silent auction of signed and game-used baseball equipment. Hideki Matsui autographed 8×10 photographs will be sold for $50 each. The fans can also make tax-deductible donations on-line at www.oaklandathletics.com/japan.