Big leaguers go deep for cancer research

Big leaguers go deep for cancer research

The long ball can once again serve as a healing mechanism -- literally.

Major League Baseball announced Wednesday that, for the 14th year, the annual "Home Run Challenge" in support of the Prostate Cancer Foundation will be in full swing on Father's Day.

Each home run hit during the 15 games on Sunday -- as well as 45 other select previous games -- will allow fans to make monetary donations and pledges to the PCF.

Last year, the program raised $2.7 million to prostate cancer research. And since its inception in 1996, $36 million have been accumulated.

"Each year, we look forward to the 'Home Run Challenge' to help raise funds for prostate-cancer research," MLB Commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement. "Prostate cancer has affected many members of the baseball family, and through this initiative, we hope to generate increased awareness about the disease."

During the "Home Run Challenge," fans can make a $10 donation by texting "PCF" to 20222, with the money going directly toward prostate cancer research (all standard text-messaging rates apply). They can also go to to donate.

Prostate cancer, according to an MLB-issued news release, strikes one out of every six American men. On Father's Day, all on-field personnel -- players, managers, coaches, trainers, umpires and groundskeepers -- will wear blue wristbands and blue-ribbon uniform decals symbolizing prostate-cancer awareness. The blue-ribbon logo will also appear on the dugout lineup cards, which will be blue.

MLB Charities has committed $50,000 to PCF as part of this program.

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.