March 18, 2011
Ichiro Suzuki(notes) still hasn't offered any public comment about the ongoing crisis in Japan, but the message he sent on Friday will certainly go a lot further than any press conference remarks or a prepared statement of concern ever would.
The Seattle Mariners great will donate 100 million yen to the relief efforts stemming from last week's earthquake and tsunami. Using today's conversion rate, the amount equates to about $1.23 million — or roughly 7 percent of the $18 million he'll make playing baseball in Seattle this year.
In usual Ichiro fashion, he hasn't said anything about his impressive support with his checkbook and he likely won't. Helping out his homeland in a time of great need seems to be enough for the right fielder — as it was last month, when he quietly donated 10 million yen to relief efforts following the volcano eruption in the Miyazaki Prefecture.
His gesture reminds me of the 2001-02 NBA season, when Michael Jordan donated his entire $1 million salary to Sept. 11 efforts. And just like in that great time of need, Ichiro isn't alone in his generosity. The Mariners also announced on Friday that they'll be matching any front office or fan donations made over the regular-season's first game homestand at Safeco Field with a minimum of $100,000 guaranteed. The San Francisco Giants also announced their plans to offer aid earlier this week.
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