Ever since they first appeared in this country, some hundred years ago, professional baseball games have been a quintessential opportunity for millions of American fathers to bond with their children. On June 16th, in commemoration of Fathers Day, Major League Baseball altered one of the games most storied traditionsthe seventh-inning stretchas a public service to these same fathers. To raise awareness for prostate cancer, fans in baseball stadiums across the country sang Take Me Out to the Ballgame last Sunday after the sixth inning, a symbolic gesture that refers to the fact that one in six American men will develop prostate cancer at some point in their life. A public service message, promoting regular prostate exams as well as general cancer awareness, was displayed on the big screen during the stretch. The players wore blue wristbands, and the uniforms of coaching staff, ball-boys, ball-girls, and grounds-crew featured the blue ribbon that symbolizes cancer awareness.
In addition to promoting awareness, Major League Baseball and Gillette, the sponsor of the Fathers Day event, pledged a financial contribution to prostate cancer research. Major League Baseball charities donated $50,000 to the Prostate Cancer Foundation, and Gillette donated $10,000 to the Foundation for every home run hit by the sixth player in the lineup, during his first at-bat.
To make a donation, visit www.prostatecancerfoundation.org, or to learn more about the importance of regular prostate exams, visit http://www.healthcentral.com/prostate/prevention.html