Junichi Tazawa, Itsuki Shoda, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Hideki Okajima take donations to help Japan's recovery.Junichi Tazawa, Itsuki Shoda, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Hideki Okajima take donations to help Japan’s recovery.

words // Nick Engvall

The world has been devastated by the recent natural disasters that have struck Japan. With baseball being such a worldwide sport, the disaster struck all too close to home for many of the players in the league. Reports of missing family members of many Major League players began just hours after the earthquake and ensuing tsunami. Although, at this time it seems all immediately family members of Major League players have been accounted for, friends and family will likely be affected for the rest of their lives. The process of getting back to normal will likely be long and emotional for all of those affected, but many are doing their part to make the process easier.

With a large and ever-increasing percentage of Japanese players in the Major Leagues, many of the teams, like the Boston Red Sox, have taken the initiative to gather donations at recent spring training games to help Japan get back on its feet. Individual players from around the league have done their part, and teams like the Dodgers, Yankees and Red Sox have also taken the initiative to donate as well.

Check out this week’s MLB Watch coverage below, courtesy of Yahoo.


MLB Watch: A look at what the pros use on the diamond.

Hideki Matsui in Mizuno 9-Spike cleats.Hideki Matsui in Mizuno baseball cleats.

Adam Dunn wearing adidas Diamond King cleats.Adam Dunn wearing adidas Diamond King cleats.

Adrian Gonzalez in the Nike Air Max Diamond ELite Fly.Adrian Gonzalez in the Nike Air Max Diamond Elite Fly.

Clayton Kershaw in the Under Armour Ignite.Clayton Kershaw in the Under Armour Ignite.

Coco Crisp in the adidas adiZero Diamond King Low.Coco Crisp in the adidas adiZero Diamond King Low.

Ichiro Suzuki in Mizuno batting gloves.Ichiro Suzuki in Mizuno batting gloves.

Jonathan Papelbon in the Under Armour Natural II.Jonathan Papelbon in the Under Armour Natural II.

Josh Beckett throws wearing the Reebok VR6000 glove.Josh Beckett throws wearing the Reebok VR6000 glove.

Orlando Hudson in the Nike Swingman Remix 2.Orlando Hudson in the Nike Swingman Remix 2.

Rafael Furcal in the Nike Air Max Diamond Elite Fly.Rafael Furcal in the Nike Air Max Diamond Elite Fly.

Ryan Howard in adidas batting gloves.Ryan Howard in adidas batting gloves.