Haruki Nakamura and his Ravens teammates did a good deed last weekend, making themselves available for Nakamura’s charity autograph event at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen. An estimated crowd of 3,000 attended the event, which raised more than $60,000 for the victims of the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
But apparently some fans were disappointed that they forked over 50 bucks to help a country devastated by natural disaster and didn't leave Ripken Stadium with an autograph from a star player such as Ed Reed, Joe Flacco or Ray Rice, who donated their time to a good cause but left before the event ended at 3 p.m.
Get this: Some are so disgruntled, they want the Red Cross to snatch back their donations earmarked for Japanese citizens in need of food, shelter and clothing because getting a John Hancock from Nakamura or a photo with Chris Carr, who both stayed for the entire event, wasn't good enough for them.
Get ready to read about this one in “This week's sign of the apocalypse” in an upcoming Sports Illustrated.
An Aberdeen IronBirds rep said it was announced at the event that no autographs were guaranteed, and the Red Cross thought they made it clear in the advertisements that the event's purpose was charity. The Red Cross is offering to refund donations if autograph-seekers really want their money back that badly.
"If people didn't want to make a contribution to the Red Cross and they felt there was some misrepresentation, we will give them a refund if they have proof," Linnea Anderson, the public relations director for the Red Cross of Central Maryland, told The Baltimore Sun. "If they were not interested in making a donation and were just making a fee for purchase, we're sorry that happened. We thought people understood that this was money going to a charity. Our motto at the Red Cross is to satisfy donor intent."
I understand fans being frustrated because they didn't get to chat with Reed or get a signature from Flacco. But anyone who is considering taking the Red Cross up on their refund offer needs to take a look at this photo gallery of the tsunami aftermath in Japan.
Or a long look in the mirror.