Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher, Hiroki Kuroda, told his teammates he was donating $50,000 to the earthquake and tsunami relief effort in his homeland of Japan and encouraged them to join him, the Dodgers team website reported Thursday.

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“As everyone knows, Japan has been hit with the most devastating catastrophe in its history,” said Kuroda, who pitched 11 seasons in Japan before joining the Dodgers.

“I’m grateful to the Dodgers organization for offering a hand at this time of crisis and just praying for everyone in Japan. I am truly grateful for the concern my teammates have shown.”

Every year he donates $100,000 to the ThinkCure Foundation, but this time he decided to donate half of that amount to the earthquake relief.

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The Dodgers and NBC LA held a drive-through fund-raiser at Dodger Stadium throughout the day Tuesday.

Kuroda’s family is safe and has not talked to them since Friday, he is monitoring developments online and on television. “I never stop watching,” he 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.”

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