HOUSTON -- Every time Ryan Pressly takes the mound, he writes the initials of his late father, Tom Pressly, into the dirt behind the mound. He also has his father’s initials on his glove. Tom Pressly died of cancer in 2013, and Ryan makes sure he’s with him every time he steps onto a field.
“It’s tough not having him around and talking to him,” he said. “But everything happens for a reason, and he’s in a way better place. I think he’s got the best view in the house. He knows what’s happening.”
Pressly’s father was at his Major League debut with the Twins in 2013 and died a few months later. When Pressly signed a two-year, $17.5 million contract extension on March 20 of this year, it was on what would have been his father’s 66th birthday.
“It was kind of a surreal moment, and everything kind of happened right then and there,” he said. “I think he’s pulling a few strings up there.”
Pressly said both his parents bent over backwards to help him achieve his dream of playing in the big leagues.
“I give ‘em all the credit in the world,” he said. “I wish my dad was still around so he could come to the games.”
During Father’s Day games, for the fourth consecutive year, players wore specially-designed New Era caps to raise awareness and funds for the fight against prostate cancer. Players also had the option to wear Stance multi-pattern blue-dyed socks. MLB will again donate 100% of its royalties from the sales of specialty caps and apparel emblazoned with the symbolic blue ribbon -- a minimum $300,000 collective donation -- to the Prostate Cancer Foundation and Stand Up To Cancer.
This effort also includes the annual Prostate Cancer Foundation “Home Run Challenge,” which has given fans the chance to make a one-time monetary donation or pledge for every home run hit by their favorite MLB Clubs during the time period of June 1st through Father’s Day, Sunday, all the while tracking where their team stacks up in a “Team vs. Team” competition. Every dollar donated through the Home Run Challenge goes to PCF to fund critical research to defeat prostate cancer. As of June 13th, more than $1.26 million has been pledged via the Home Run Challenge in 2019. Since inception, the Home Run Challenge has raised more than $51 million for PCF, the world’s leading philanthropic organization funding and accelerating prostate cancer research.
Founded in 1993, Prostate Cancer Foundation has funded nearly $800 million of cutting-edge research by 2,200 scientists at 220 leading cancer centers in 22 countries around the world. Because of PCF’s commitment to ending death and suffering from prostate cancer, the death rate is down more than 52% and 1.5 million men are alive today as a result. PCF research now impacts 67 forms of human cancer by focusing on immunotherapy, the microbiome, and food as medicine. Learn more at pcf.org.