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Fernandez hopes to help Motte strike out cancer

JUPITER, Fla. -- Jose Fernandez is no stranger to strikeouts.

The hard-throwing right-hander possesses an upper 90-mph fastball, and at the age of 21, he's already established himself as one of the dominant pitchers in the game.

As a rookie last year, Fernandez set a Marlins rookie strikeout record with 187. As he embarks upon his sophomore season, the right-hander is teaming up with the Jason Motte Foundation to help strike out cancer.

Each of the 30 big league clubs is taking part in the cause, and Fernandez is representing Miami.

"I didn't think about it twice," the young ace said. "Anything I could do to help. This is huge. I'm really excited about it."

Motte, the veteran Cardinals reliever, created a website aimed at combating cancer.

The website went live on March 17, with 108 Stitches showcasing the "Strike Out Cancer" tees in each team's colors. Each is promoted by a different player who agreed to join Motte in a partnership that will benefit multiple charities. Each participating player has chosen a charity that will benefit from the T-shirts sales, and for each shirt sold, $5 will go to the Jason Motte Foundation and $5 to a charity of that player's choice. A full list of recipient charities will be listed on the 108 Stitches website soon, along with a photo of each player rep in his team-colored shirt.

"At the end of the day, it's about reaching people," Motte said. "Baseball is great and everything, but there are other really important things going on out there that affect a lot of people. Wearing these T-shirts shows people that they're not alone. They're not sitting there doing chemo by themselves where no one cares. People do care, whether it's friends, family or baseball players. There are people who this has touched and this has affected. This is something we're trying to do to get the word out there and try to raise money to help."

On the site, fans can purchase Fernandez's "strike out tee," which features a vintage black shirt sporting a reverse letter K.

Fernandez, the reigning National League Rookie of the Year, will be the Marlins' Opening Day starter on Monday against the Rockies at Marlins Park.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro.

Miami Marlins, Jose Fernandez