Cubs buzz off hair for cancer research

'Respect Bald' event benefits children's fight against disease

Cubs buzz off hair for cancer research

MESA, Ariz. -- Pitcher Edgar Olmos wanted to make sure his 9-month-old daughter, Siena, was present when he had his head shaved Saturday, part of the Cubs' "Respect Bald" fundraiser for pediatric cancer research. Olmos was afraid she wouldn't recognize him if he just showed up with his long hair gone.

Olmos joined Cubs manager Joe Maddon, bench coach Dave Martinez and teammates Anthony Rizzo, Ben Zobrist, Albert Almora, Kyle Schwarber and Matt Szczur, among others, who had their heads shaved prior to Saturday's game -- a 4-2 Reds victory.

"I just feel like anything we can do to help the kids, it's worth it," Olmos said. "It makes me feel good. I just want to see the kids happy."

One of those kids who will hopefully benefit is 4-year-old Audrey, who is battling cancer, and showed up wearing pink cowgirl boots. When her hair grows back, she wants to dye it purple, and Maddon said he'd help.

Olmos was one of 60 people to get a haircut on Saturday, and the Cubs said the event raised $29,000. Olmos said he'd never been bald before.

"It will grow back," he said. "I hope it grows back."

Edgar Olmos shows off his new look at the Cubs' "Respect Bald" fundraiser.Carrie Muskat/

Maddon started the event in the Tampa Bay area when he managed the Rays.

"When it comes down to children, kids, I'm a father, I'm a grandparent, and when you see kids impacted by this disease, it bothers all of us," Maddon said. "We want to contribute."

Rizzo and Cubs pitcher Jon Lester have been personally affected by cancer, both battling and beating lymphoma. Rizzo has since created a foundation that focuses on helping families affected by pediatric cancer.

Kyle Schwarber was among the Cubs players who took on a new look for a good cause.Ben Platt/

"It's not just about the kids, it's about parents and brothers and sisters and grandparents," Maddon said. "We're here to lend our support and hopefully raise a couple bucks."

Some of the players with long locks opted not to take part, such as Minor League catcher Taylor Davis. The Cubs players made a donation on his behalf instead.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.