McCann hosts benefit for childhood cancer research

Yankees catcher, wife raise funds for Atlanta-based Rally Foundation

McCann hosts benefit for childhood cancer research

ATLANTA -- Yankees catcher Brian McCann proudly continued to do his part to aid in the battle against childhood cancer as he hosted a fundraising gala and celebrity softball game this weekend in his hometown of Atlanta.

Extending their role as the Rally Foundation's primary spokespeople, McCann and his wife, Ashley, hosted a Benefit Bash at the Marriott Marquis on Friday night and a celebrity softball game at Georgia Tech's Russ Chandler Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The two events combined to raise more than $900,000 to be used to help fund childhood cancer research.

"The fight against childhood cancer is a battle," McCann said. "The Rally Foundation is doing its part to raise money and raise awareness. I'm so thankful and blessed to be a part of it."

The McCanns' association with the Rally Foundation began in 2008, when Ashley made numerous trips to visit Alexa Rohrbach, who was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 1 and then battled long enough to see the sixth grade.

When Rohrbach passed away, the McCanns went to the funeral home and found themselves at the back of a line of about 600 guests. Instead of accepting an invitation to move to the front of the line, they waited 2 1/2 hours to pay their respects.

Soon after, Dean Crowe, the founder of the Rally Foundation, asked the McCanns to aid in her battle against childhood cancer. The seven-time All-Star catcher and his wife have helped raise more than $4 million since proudly accepting this role.

In its eighth year, the Brian McCann Rally Celebrity Softball Game featured MLB Network's Mark DeRosa, former Pro Bowl linebacker Takeo Spikes and several current and former big leaguers, including Kris Medlen, Danny Duffy, Nick Green, Chase d'Arnaud and Buddy Carlyle.

Kelly Johnson, Jeff Francoeur, Jonny Venters and current Braves manager Brian Snitker were also on hand at Friday's gala.

"It means the world to me to have these guys come out and support this endeavor," McCann said. "This event keeps getting better."

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.