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Wednesday, 8th June 2011
In Sports, General Japan News, Japan Sports News,

JLB's BayStars visit Tohoku disaster victims

Whilst their recent performances in the Japanese Baseball League may not have been quite up to scratch, the Yokohama BayStars have made headlines for the right reasons this week by visiting survivors of the March 11th earthquake in Tohoku.

Seven players from the team visited the region yesterday (June 7th) to help encourage victims of the disaster.

The trip was particularly poignant for catcher Shinji Niinuma, who played for the local team Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles until last season and grew up in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture - one of the hardest hit areas.

"The damage left over from the disaster was worse than anything I could have imagined. I was relieved to see the smiling faces of everyone. I'd like to encourage them with my performance on the field," he said.

Along with team captain Shuichi Murata, Niinuma handed out autographed baseballs and other sports memorabilia to locals living in the disaster-struck region.

Written by Mark Smith