06/07/2005 6:00 PM ET
Major League Baseball, Major League Baseball Players Association team with Prostate Cancer Foundation for "Home Run Challenge" Father's Day initiative
Fans can raise research funds by pledging donations to the "Home Run Challenge" June 8-19
Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association are once again teaming with Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) for the "Home Run Challenge," a program culminating on Father's Day that is designed to create awareness about prostate cancer while also raising funds to support the PCF. The initiative will be highlighted by special programs at each ballpark hosting games on Father's Day, Sunday, June 19.
During the "Home Run Challenge," fans can log onto www.prostatecancerfoundation.org to make a monetary pledge for each home run hit during 60 select Major League Baseball games played between Wednesday, June 8 and Sunday, June 19, including all games played on Father's Day. In addition to pledges per home run, fans also will be able to make specific monetary donations to the PCF via www.prostatecancerfoundation.org. Major League Baseball Charities has committed $50,000 to the PCF as part of the "Home Run Challenge" program.
"Major League Baseball and its Clubs are proud to support the Prostate Cancer Foundation and the 'Home Run Challenge,'" said Tim Brosnan, Executive Vice President, Business, Major League Baseball. "Prostate cancer has affected many members of the Major League Baseball family, and we are grateful that our long-standing relationship with the Prostate Cancer Foundation has helped increase awareness and funding to fight this disease."
Now in its ninth year, the "Home Run Challenge" is supported by all 30 Clubs and the players. Last year, the "Home Run Challenge" netted more than $2.1 million. Since its inception, this initiative has raised more than $27 million toward prostate cancer research.
"Our relationship with Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association has been a perfect example of the power of baseball," said Michael Milken, Prostate Cancer Foundation Founder and Chairman. "The 'Home Run Challenge' has combined almost every aspect of baseball - Clubs, players, managers, coaches, owners, umpires, trainers - with a common goal - find a cure for prostate cancer. We are honored to be part of the team."
"For nine years, Major Leaguers have been very proud to participate in the Home Run Challenge to help raise awareness and funding for the Prostate Cancer Foundation," said Jim Thome of the Philadelphia Phillies and a program Co-Chairman. "As sons and fathers, we know how terrible this disease is and how important it is to support efforts to find a cure. We also want to thank baseball fans everywhere for joining us in this most important cause."
In honor of Father's Day, the Chicago White Sox will host a special celebration at U.S. Cellular Field prior to its game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The on-field ceremony at U.S. Cellular Field will include Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda, Chicago White Sox Father's Day representative Paul Konerko and the Prostate Cancer Foundation Founder and Chairman, Michael Milken.
All players will wear blue wristbands on Father's Day and the blue ribbon symbolizing prostate cancer awareness will be displayed on uniforms worn by all on-field personnel. The blue ribbon logo also will appear on the bases, on commemorative home plates and on the official dugout lineup cards. The game-used bases, team-autographed commemorative home plates and lineup cards from each ballpark will be auctioned off at a later date to raise additional funds for the PCF. A special PSA about the PCF will be broadcast in-stadium prior to each game played on Father's Day. In addition, fans will be able to receive informational brochures about prostate cancer awareness by visiting the guest services area at each ballpark.
Support for the "Home Run Challenge" Father' Day program will include scoreboard and PA announcements as well as editorial on MLB.com, the official Web site of Major League Baseball, featuring Major League Baseball players and their fathers. Also, Major League Baseball will run a full-page ad in the June 17 issue of USA Today in honor of Father's Day and to promote prostate cancer awareness. Each Club will have at least one player representative (see attached list) who will help promote the "Home Run Challenge."
FSN and FOX Sports also will help publicize the "Home Run Challenge." When a PCF selected game is carried by FSN or is part of the FOX Saturday Baseball Game of the Week, the "Home Run Challenge" and the efforts of team representatives will be highlighted throughout the telecast. A special feature starring MLB players and personnel including Cubs manager Dusty Baker, a prostate cancer survivor, will run during all pre-game shows during "Home Run Challenge" games and will include information on how fans can show their support.
About the Prostate Cancer Foundation
The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is a non-profit public charity dedicated to finding better treatments and a cure for recurrent prostate cancer. Founded in 1993, the PCF rapidly identifies and funds promising prostate cancer research, attracts leading scientists to the field, raises public awareness and fosters collaboration among physicians and scientists working toward a cure for prostate cancer. The PCF is also the largest source of private funding for prostate cancer research in the world.
Major League Baseball Health Initiatives
The Father's Day prostate cancer initiative is one of several health initiatives supported by Major League Baseball. Other projects include the Mother's Day Strikeout Challenge which helps increase awareness of breast cancer and the importance of early detection and raise money towards the search for a cure as part of Major League Baseball Mother's Day activities; the Commissioner's Initiative for Kids supports the CureSearch National Childhood Cancer Foundation; and Play Smart When it Comes to the Sun, a league-wide, season-long skin cancer awareness program in conjunction with the Major League Baseball Players Association and the American Academy of Dermatology.