TOMODACHI, Major League Baseball Step Up To the Plate in Japan

MLB Players to Open the 2012 Season in Tokyo, Conduct Clinic in Ishinomaki

March 26, 2012

The U.S. Embassy in Tokyo and TOMODACHI are pleased to welcome the Seattle Mariners and the Oakland Athletics to Japan from March 23-30. The visit highlights the partnership between Major League Baseball (MLB), the MLB Players Association, and the TOMODACHI Initiative, a partnership that was launched in November 2011 during the visit to Japan of Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr.

The Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics will open the MLB season in a two-game series in Tokyo on March 28 and 29, known as the “Gloops Japan Opening Series 2012.” The clubs also played exhibition games against Japanese teams.

As part of their visit, and with the support of the Boeing Company, MLB players and staff will travel to Ishinomaki on March 27, where they will conduct a baseball clinic for young players and meet with some of the residents of Ishinomaki who were affected by the devastating earthquake and tsunami of March 11, 2011. The following day, the players will join U.S. Ambassador John V. Roos and officials from the Government of Japan in a ceremony at the U.S. Ambassador’s Residence to celebrate the shared love of baseball that unites our two countries.

TOMODACHI has partnered with MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association to re-equip Japanese youth teams, conduct clinics for boys and girls, and repair damaged baseball fields in the Tohoku region so that the people of Japan can continue to enjoy the great game of baseball.

Additional information can be found at the TOMODACHI website:

TOMODACHI is a public-private partnership, led by the United States Government and the U.S.-Japan Council and supported by the Japanese Government, that supports Japan's recovery from the Great East Japan Earthquake and invests in the next generation of Japanese and Americans in ways that strengthen cultural and economic ties and deepen the friendship between the United States and Japan over the long-term.