MLB, union to give $1M; Yanks, too

Major League Baseball's 30 teams and the players' association will combine to donate $1 million to tsunami relief efforts as the sports world continues to respond with open hearts and wallets.

In addition, the New York Yankees will donate $1 million from
the proceeds of their season opener against the Boston Red Sox on
April 3.

"As a social institution, Major League Baseball has a
responsibility to help those in our communities and, in this case,
the global community," commissioner Bud Selig said. "The horrific
tsunami that devastated large areas of South Asia took an enormous
human toll that is incomprehensible to those of us who watched the
aftermath from the comfort of our homes."

Baseball and the union have made joint charitable donations in
the past.

"We hope that this contribution will be of help to those in
need as they go about the difficult work of rebuilding their lives
and communities," union head Donald Fehr said.

  • One Yankees player recently made a significant individual contribution to the relief effort, as well. Outfielder Hideki Matsui donated $480,000 to Fumio Hirata, head of the local chapter of the Japanese Red Cross Society and mayor of Neagari -- Matsui's hometown.

    "Watching the news every day, I thought that this must be the
    worst disaster in history. I'd like to do what little I can to
    help," Hirata said Matsui told him.

  • The San Francisco Giants' online auction (at sfgiants.com) of such prizes as a meeting with slugger Barry Bonds and a chance to throw out the first pitch at the 2005 opener ended at 9 p.m. PT Friday.

    Shoot-a-Thon wraps up with Rockets-Lakers
    Six of the seven players participating in the $1,000-per-point relief effort by NBA clients of agent Arn Tellem are using their point tallies from games Friday night, with three of them playing in the Rockets-Lakers matchup at Staples Center in Los Angeles, which the Lakers won 111-104.

    Kobe Bryant of the Lakers scored 27 points, and Tracy McGrady (26) and Bob Sura (20) of the Rockets, whose contributions will go to UNICEF. Memphis' Pau Gasol and Mike Miller and Toronto's Jalen Rose played earlier in the evening.

    Rose scored 21 points in the Raptors' 107-105 overtime loss to the Milwaukee Bucks in Toronto. Rose later decided to increase his contribution from $21,000 to $44,000, corresponding to his career-high point total achieved in 2002 as a member of the Chicago Bulls. Gasol had 20 and Miller 16 in the Memphis' 84-76 home victory over the New Orleans Hornets.

    Jermaine O'Neal of the Pacers scored 32 points Thursday but said he would give $55,000 -- using the more generous measure of his season-high 55-point game Tuesday. That likely means Tellem also will be contributing $55,000. He has said he'll match the highest donation of the players he represents.

    The support continued to flow Friday. The Atlanta Hawks raised $64,000 for the relief effort Friday night as the team played host to the Sacramento Kings. Antoine Walker led the way with a $20,000 donation. The Kings won 100-97.

    The New York Times reported on Friday night that the New York Knicks' Stephon Marbury, Allan Houston, Nazr Mohammed, Vin Baker and Moochie Norris said they would donate $1,000 for each point they score against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday.

    Jamal Crawford said he would do the same when he returns from the injured list, The Times reported. Other Knicks are making private contributions to the relief effort, the team said.

    Also, the NBA players' union has decided to donate
    $500,000 to help tsunami victims, and
    the NBA will match the gift, a league spokesman said Friday.

    The donations are to be made to UNICEF, NBA spokesman Brian Flinn said.

    Singh, PGA Tour chip in
    PGA player Vijay Singh is auctioning a 2005 Buick Rainier/Golf Experience Package on eBay with 100 percent of the net proceeds to benefit the smallest survivors of the tsunamis in South Asia.

    The winning bidder will receive an autographed 2005 Buick Rainier that Singh won at the 2004 Buick Open, a complete set of reshafted Cleveland clubs used by Singh, and tickets to 14 PGA TOUR tournaments, including nine where he is the defending champion.

    The auction will begin Monday. Bidder pre-qualifying started Friday, and the 10-day auction will close Thursday, Jan. 20.

    PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said that the Tour will match the proceeds from the auction.

    Singh and his wife, Ardena, have many personal ties in India, Thailand and her homeland of Malaysia.

    FIFA, UEFA organize charity match
    Soccer's world and European governing
    bodies are organizing a charity soccer match to raise funds for
    victims of the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster, FIFA said Friday.

    The associations "have decided to organize a solidarity match
    on a grand scale in a major European stadium in February," FIFA
    said in a statement. It did not give details.

    The governing body said several soccer associations -- including
    England, Germany, India and Malaysia -- had expressed a wish to
    arrange charity matches and donate the proceeds to a tsunami aid
    fund set up by FIFA and the Asian Football Confederation.

    FIFA did not say who was expected to take part in the match, or
    where it was likely to be held.

    Earlier this week, FIFA and the AFC called for famous soccer
    personalities -- primarily former players -- to help with aid
    distribution efforts and show solidarity with people in affected

    The two soccer bodies also announced plans to deliver soccer
    equipment to associations in tsunami-struck nations.

    PGA European Tour launches relief fund
    Golf became the latest sport to pledge money to the Asian tsunami appeal Thursday when the European Tour announced the launch International Relief Golf Fund with an initial donation of 50,000 pounds ($93,810).

    Leading players, club golfers, international golfing bodies
    and management agencies, golf club manufacturers and tournament
    sponsors are among those being invited to contribute to the

    F1 team opens factory
    The Toyota Formula One team will open its factory to the public to help raise money for those hit by the Asian tsunami disaster.

    "We never normally open the factory to the public but we've
    decided to [do that] with the Red Cross in Germany on January
    23," said Toyota motorsport president John Howett at the launch
    of the team's 2005 car.

    "We will charge 30 euros ($39.70) a head for entry and we
    will give that money towards the reconstruction of the area," he

    Minor-league hockey teams do their part
    During their two home games this weekend, the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks of the American Hockey League will host a silent auction of "unique" team memorabilia, with proceeds going to the Red Cross.

    And in the Western Hockey League, The Lethbridge (Alberta) Hurricanes announced they will donate $500 in addition to the amount they will take in from fans during Friday's game against the Swift Current Broncos and Saturday's contest vs. the Red Deer Rebels.

    Information from The Associated Press, Reuters and SportsTicker was used in this report.