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Dice-K is dealing for charity

Posted by Peter Abraham, Globe Staff  July 20, 2010 05:25 PM

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This release from the Red Sox:

Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka and his wife, Tomoyo, announced major new charitable initiatives today that will benefit the Red Sox Foundation, the official team charity of the Boston Red Sox.

These initiatives include “Dice-K’s Strikeouts for Kids,” donations from memorabilia sale proceeds and upcoming programs spearheaded by Tomoyo Matsuzaka.

Under “Dice-K’s Strikeouts for Kids,” for every strikeout earned by Matsuzaka during the 2010 regular season, the pitcher will donate $500 to the Red Sox Foundation. Through this donation, the Japanese pitcher will be supporting Red Sox Foundation programs serving children in need here in New England. Additionally, Matsuzaka announced that he will donate proceeds from his memorabilia sales to charities in his native Japan and in the United States. Part of the proceeds from memorabilia sales will be earmarked to benefit both the Red Sox Foundation and charities in his native Japan.

“I’ve always been interested in charities," said Daisuke Matsuzaka. “My wife and I talked about what we could do as parents and we felt the strong urge to help children, which led to our involvement with the Red Sox Foundation. It may start out modest, but I hope that it will eventually become a great movement and the catalyst for something positive. Realizing the need to get actively involved with charities is one of the great things about coming to America. I am delighted that I can support Red Sox Foundation, which does important work for the community. First and foremost, I am honored to be part of the Red Sox team.”

The donation from “Dice-K’s Strikeouts for Kids” to the Red Sox Foundation accrues retroactively from the start of the 2010 season. As of today (July 20, 2010), Daisuke has 65 strikeouts for the season, which makes the Foundation a beneficiary of $32,500 already from the “Dice-K’s Strikeouts for Kids” program alone. The final amount to be donated will be determined at the end of the 2010 regular season after Matsuzaka records his last strikeout and the final distribution of his memorabilia sales are known. Additional charitable initiatives spearheaded by Tomoyo Matsuzaka will be announced at a later date.

“We are honored to have Daisuke and Tomoyo as part of the Red Sox family,” said Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner. “When we signed Daisuke as a pitcher, we knew he would be a very important addition to our team. Through this generous gift to the Red Sox official team charity, we also know he is making an important contribution to children here in New England. We are deeply grateful and we know that fans across Red Sox Nation will be cheering even more loudly since every strike out means the Red Sox Foundation can do more for children in need, thanks to his generous support.”

“We know that Japan and the United States are two cultures bound together by their shared love of baseball,” said Meg Vaillancourt, Sr. VP of Corp Affairs and Executive Director of the Red Sox Foundation. “All of us in Red Sox Nation are fortunate to have Daisuke’s enormous talent in service of our team. Now through his and Tomoyo’s very generous gift, the Red Sox Foundation will be able to provide much needed services to children in need here in New England. We are honored to have the Matsuzakas as part of the Red Sox charitable team.”

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