'Keep Dad in the Game' platform helps to keep fans alert to health issues
By Mark Newman
For Giants first baseman Brandon Belt, it's that moment when "all you think about" is seeing 9-month-old son Greyson as he walks out of the clubhouse after a game. For White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu, it's that satisfaction of providing a good life for 5-year-old son Dariel Eduardo -- "an extension of me" -- back in his native Cuba.
For Mets closer Jeurys Familia, it was "the best day of my life" when he took paternity leave from the bullpen and then went to a hospital and held his newborn son Jeurys Jr. for the first time. And for Blue Jays shortstop Jose Reyes, it's those near-daily phone calls with his father Jose Manuel, who "gave me everything when he didn't have nothing."
Today is a big Father's Day for dads everywhere around Major League Baseball, whether you're savoring the role yourself or perhaps remembering the guy who played pitch and catch with you for hours and threw out his arm lofting fly balls into the sky.
MLB Advanced Media is continuing to offer a special Father's Week promotion that ends today. The yearly subscription cost is cut in half, to just $49.99 for MLB.TV Premium and $39.99 for MLB.TV. To make the deal even sweeter, this offer will include a code for RBI Baseball 15 that is included for free.
As for the league-wide activities at the ballpark, MLB and its 30 clubs will devote Father's Day to celebrating dads and increasing awareness of prostate cancer while also raising funds to fight the disease. It is part of MLB's ongoing efforts to raise awareness for various forms of cancer and a longstanding tradition now to team up with the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) and Stand Up To Cancer.
Through the "Keep Dad in the Game" platform, MLB and its clubs will offer fans a reminder to be aware of their health issues, including regular prostate exams, as a means of prevention and early detection of prostate cancer. At ballparks hosting games on Sunday, all on-field personnel will wear light blue ribbon decals for prostate cancer awareness, and all will have the option to wear light blue wrist bands. The ribbon will also appear on the bases at each ballpark and the official dugout lineup cards will be light blue.
This year marks participation of MLB players in PCF's 20th annual Home Run Challenge, through which fans are able to make a monetary pledge for each homer hit during all scheduled MLB games from this past Monday through Father's Day.
The program has raised about $45 million since its inception, and fans can pledge to this year's campaign and see a leaderboard showing which club's fans have been most generous. As of Friday afternoon, Phillies faithful had accounted for $315,950 of the total $377,930 donated.
Speaking of the Phillies, they are also an example of how clubs often add their own unique Father's Day touches at the ballpark. They are celebrating Father's Day Weekend throughout this weekend's series against St. Louis with a 1960s theme. On Sunday, the team will wear 1969 retro uniforms, and all men 15 and over will receive a 1960s Phillies cap, courtesy of Chevrolet.
Mark Newman is enterprise editor of MLB.com. Read and join other baseball fans on his MLB.com community blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.