Baseball star Shohei Ohtani and his new team, the Los Angeles Dodgers, are donating $1 million to victims of a series of earthquakes that shook Japan’s western coast on Monday.
The Dodgers said in a social media post Thursday that the donation from the organization, along with its ownership group, Guggenheim Baseball, is a collaboration with Ohtani, who is from Japan and has been playing in the U.S. since 2018. Ohtani will also be making his own personal contribution, the post said. The amount wasn't shared.
More than a dozen earthquakes hit Ishikawa coast, the most severe of which reached a magnitude of 7.6., leaving at least 94 people dead and 222 missing as of Friday.
“I would like to thank those who have joined in the recovery effort, and my hope is that we continue to come together to support those whose lives have been upended,” Ohtani said in a statement on social media. “I hope for the rapid rescue of missing persons and the reconstruction of the disaster-stricken areas.”
Ohtani, a two-time American League MVP, recently made headlines for his $700 million, 10-year contract with the Dodgers, the largest deal in sports history, but he has also done so in the past for his charitable work. In November, he donated 60,000 youth gloves across Japan’s 20,000 elementary schools.
And in 2020, during the height of the pandemic, Ohtani made a donation to the Japan Mask Project, which helps supply masks to health care workers. A year later, after Ohtani received $150,000 for participating in the annual home run derby at the All-Star Game, he donated his winnings to some 30 support staffers of his previous team, the Los Angeles Angels, in a show of gratitude.