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Japan Disaster Hits Home For Bobby Valentine

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Manager Bobby Valentine (2R) is seen with the Chiba Lotte Marines baseball team in Tokyo, Japan - Nov 13, 2005 - Photo: TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images

Manager Bobby Valentine (2R) is seen with the Chiba Lotte Marines baseball team in Tokyo, Japan – Nov 13, 2005 – Photo: TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images

STAMFORD, CT (WCBS 880) - The earthquake and resulting tsunami in Japan and the devastation they left behind have hit home for one former Tri-State area baseball manager.

WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau with Bobby Valentine

Stamford, Connecticut‘s Bobby Valentine, well-known for managing the New York Mets from 1996-2002, managed the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan in 1995 and from 2004-2009.

In 2005, he even led them to the championship.

Now, he has reached out to his friends and former players in the Far East and says they’re okay, but “they are definitely being stressed and living in fear every moment from continuous aftershocks and the threat of this possible nuclear invasion.”

PHOTO GALLERY: Deadly Tsunami Hits Japan After 8.9 Quake

“The place that we played, my team, was built right on the coast in Chiba, built on a landfill which now is actually being compromised and the stadium might be slipping into the Tokyo Bay,” says Valentine.

Valentine says he hopes to ask fellow ballplayers to put memorabilia up for auction or sale. He believes the proceeds could raise a good sum of money for the Red Cross and its relief efforts.

“It’s the same feeling that so many of us had after 9/11 and after Katrina,” says Valentine. “There’s so much to do and so much a feeling of void that you can’t do enough or you really don’t know where to start.”

Since leaving baseball, Valentine has been a broadcaster for ESPN. When he’s not doing that, he is in charge of public safety for his hometown of Stamford. He was even out directing traffic during a snowstorm this winter.

If you would like to help those affected by the earthquake in Japan and the Pacific Tsunami, visit redcross.org or text REDCROSS to 90999 to give $10. Message and data rates may apply.

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