Mariners Insider Blog

Kenji is a good guy

I knew he was a good guy, and if you need proof, check out this press release.

From the Seattle Mariners..


Catcher will donate to the Seattle House every time he helps get an opposing player out

Seattle Mariners catcher Kenji Johjima would someday like to start his own charity. Until that day, he has decided to put his fielding skills to use to benefit Ronald McDonald House® in Seattle.

Every time the Mariners catcher throws out a runner or gets credit for an assist when an out is made, Johjima will donate $250 to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Western Washington and Alaska.

Johjima decided to start his "Assists for Kids" program because he loves children and would someday like to start his own charity or foundation. "One reason I decided to work with Ronald McDonald House is that I can help children in Seattle during the baseball season and I can help children when I am back home in Japan."

Ronald McDonald House Charities® has 259 Houses in 28 countries worldwide, including Japan. The Seattle House provides a caring "home-away-from-home" for families of serious ill children being treated at Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center. Most families who stay at the House in Seattle come from Eastern Washington, Alaska, Montana and Idaho. The length of time a family stays varies greatly-some call the Seattle House home for over a year.

That connection to Children's Hospital was also a major consideration for Johjima. "Children's Hospital treats all children with hospitality and respect. I want to help repay the hospital in some way for all they have done for the children of our community," said Johjima.

"We're thrilled to have Kenji be a supporter of the House," said executive director Dianna Finnerty. "Now when Kenji makes a defensive play to help the Mariners win, he's also helping seriously ill kids and their families win."

The Seattle House can accommodate 80 families each night and currently is the second largest House in the world, serving 1,200 families annually. Families are asked to pay $20 a night, which covers only a quarter of the actual cost of their stay. But no family is turned away because they cannot pay.

Last season, Johjima was among the top catchers, both offensively and defensively. In 2007, he was credited with 56 assists, which would have resulted in a donation of $14,000. That amount would have nearly covered the cost of an entire year's stay at the House for two families.