Naturals raising money for Joplin tornado victims

SPRINGDALE, Ark. (AP) - The Northwest Arkansas Naturals have

raised nearly $7,000 in cash and items for victims of the deadly

Joplin, Mo., tornado.

The team visited Joplin on Monday on the heels of a six-game

homestand in which the Naturals collected $6,659 for the relief

effort. The contributions will go to the Red Cross of Northwest


Catcher Ryan Eigsti, pitcher Buddy Baumann, general manager Eric

Edelstein and the Naturals' mascot Strike also helped serve lunch

to tornado victims and volunteers helping with the relief efforts.

The club held a jersey auction, a sports memorabilia auction and

a nightly post-game launch-a-ball to help raise the money. The

Springdale-based, Double-A Texas League team also extended an offer

for free tickets for Joplin residents during the homestand.

The storm killed 141 people.