Hoffman, Otsuka to sign autographs for charity

Hoffman, Otsuka to sign autographs for charity

Hoffman, Otsuka to sign autographs for charity
SAN DIEGO -- Former Padres closer Trevor Hoffman and former teammate Aki Otsuka will sign autographs prior to Friday's game at PETCO Park, with the proceeds going to UNICEF to raise funds for the children of Japan affected by the tsunami in March.

"I saw Aki at a Little League facility in Lakeside [outside San Diego] and we got to talk, and he said he had a house about a mile from where the tsunami hit [near Sendai]," Hoffman said of Otsuka, who also has a home in the San Diego area. "I thought he and I should get together and bring attention to [tsunami relief]. He was on board with it."

The signing will take place at Park in the Park, starting at 5:30 p.m. on Friday before the Padres take on the Mariners in the first game of Interleague Play for both clubs.

Vouchers for Friday's signing will be sold for $50 each, and will include a color photo of Hoffman and Otsuka and one autograph each from them. Only 500 vouchers will be sold.

Fans are encouraged to purchase vouchers at the Gaslamp and Home Plate gates before and during Thursday's game. Walk-up purchases on Friday will only be accommodated if the event is not already sold out.

Fans unable to attend will be able to purchase a pre-signed photograph of Hoffman and Otsuka from $40 at all guest services and at the Home Plate Club concierge on Friday.

Hoffman is the Major League career saves leader who retired in January after a career in which he saved 601 games. Hoffman now works in the Padres' front office as a special assistant to team president Tom Garfinkel.

Otsuka posted a 1.75 ERA in 73 games for the Padres in 2004 and finished third in the National League Rookie of the Year voting. Otsuka had a 3.59 ERA in his final season with the Padres in 2005.

Otsuka was traded to Texas before the 2006 season, as part of the trade that sent Adrian Gonzalez and Chris Young to the Padres.

The game on Friday against the Mariners also marks Japanese Community Night at PETCO Park.