Scott Olson not only coached sons Matt Olson and Zack throughout their youth baseball days, but he was also a bit of an innovator. Looking to go beyond the normal visits to the batting cages, the various local parks in Lilburn, Ga., often served as a playground for Scott, as
Scott Olson not only coached sons Matt Olson and Zack throughout their youth baseball days, but he was also a bit of an innovator. Looking to go beyond the normal visits to the batting cages, the various local parks in Lilburn, Ga., often served as a playground for Scott, as he often came up with out-of-the-box ideas to help his sons improve their game.
“He would take me and my brother up to the local park all the time,” Matt recalled. “I remember him taking a couple of trash cans from outside the field and putting one laying open out towards the field, and stacking another one up on top of it. He’d hit us balls in the outfield, and we’d try to throw the ball into the trash can at the plate. We’d do stuff like that all the time.”
Scott’s efforts paid off. He’s been able to watch Zack go on to play baseball at Harvard University, as well as Matt’s journey to the Major Leagues. The night of Sept. 12, 2016, will always hold a special place in Matt’s heart. It’s the night he made his big league debut, but making it even more memorable was Scott making the trek to Kansas City to take it all in from the stands at Kauffman Stadium.
“I’m very grateful for the hours he put in both for me and my brother,” Matt said. “Drove us all over the southeast and parts of the U.S. to take us to games and support us. Very thankful.”
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 Saturday, June 1 through Father’s Day, Sunday, June 16, 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 Thursday, 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.
Martin Gallegos covers the A's for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @MartinJGallegos.