MLB, PCF Swing for the Fences to Raise Awareness for Prostate Cancer
America's pastime is on deck and ready to step up to the plate to help bring awareness and action to the fight against prostate cancer.
From June 1-19, Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) will partner for the 26th annual Home Run Challenge. Through Father's Day, every ball that flies over the fences in stadiums across the country will bring funding to the fight against a disease that affects 1 in 8 men in the United States.
To further raise awareness of the most common non-skin cancer in the U.S., retired three-time Gold Glove winner Harold Reynolds partnered with the PCF to create a public service announcement set to air during nationally televised games throughout the Home Run Challenge.
"We are grateful to MLB for being our long-standing partner in helping us raise awareness and support for much-needed prostate cancer research, and thank Harold Reynolds for lending his voice to this important campaign," said PCF President and CEO Charles J. Ryan, M.D., in a press release.
"Significant advances have been made against prostate cancer, and patients around the world are living longer, suffering fewer complications and enjoying better quality of life. But there is still much work to be done," Ryan added. "The Home Run Challenge is critical in helping PCF continue to fund the groundbreaking research that will save men's lives."
The hashtags #HomeRunChallenge and #KeepDadintheGame will be in use on social media. Donations can be made at HomeRunChallenge.org, either on a per-home-run basis—batters sent 472 beyond the field of play last year—or as a flat amount.
Additionally, fans can keep rivalries alive for a good cause, as the website tracks the money donated by each team's fans; every donor also has a chance to win tickets to the 2022 MLB All-Star Game in Los Angeles.
Prostate cancer numbers
One in 8 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime, which equates to roughly three players on each MLB roster. One man dies from prostate cancer every 15 minutes, or about one man per inning, according to the PCF.
In 2022, about 269,000 men in the U.S. will be diagnosed with prostate cancer and more than 34,000 will die from the disease. That's one new case diagnosed every two minutes.
A man is more likely to develop prostate cancer than he is to develop melanoma and colon, kidney and stomach cancers combined.
Home Run Challenge numbers
Each season, the Home Run Challenge culminates with a show of solidarity on Father's Day, when all 30 teams wear specially designed blue caps. On-field personnel can also wear blue socks, blue wristbands and blue decals on their jerseys.
Some fun on-field nuggets from the first quarter-century of the fundraising drive disguised as a competition:
- The New York Yankees have hit the most home runs during the Home Run Challenge with 216.
- Two current St. Louis Cardinals—Albert Pujols and Paul Goldschmidt—are tied for the most individual home runs hit with 26.
- The Toronto Blue Jays and Los Angeles Angels tied for the most home runs during the 2021 Home Run Challenge with 24. The Yankees and Houston Astros each hit 22.
The Home Run Challenge has amassed 5,127 long balls through the first 25 years of its existence and has raised more than $70 million, according to the PCF. Eighty-two cents of every dollar raised goes toward finding a cure.