With Father's Day approaching, Major League Baseball is continuing its yearly efforts to promote prostate cancer awareness, while also raising funds to be donated toward research into battling the disease.
MLB once again will team up with the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) and Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C). MLB Charities has committed $50,000 to PCF as part of this year's events and an additional $800,000 -- and counting -- has already been pledged as part of the 18th annual Prostate Cancer Foundation "Home Run Challenge."
Fans and PCF sponsors have collectively pledged approximately $12,000 per home run hit between June 11-16. Fans can still pledge money to the cause by visiting HomeRunChallenge.org.
The final pledged amount will be multiplied by the number of home runs hit in selected games from June 11-16, including all games on Father's Day. Entering play on Friday, 67 home runs had counted toward the pledge, resulting in the $800,000 total.
In last season's Challenge, players combined to hit 150 home runs during the selected date range, raising more than $2.2 million for prostate cancer research.
Those ongoing efforts will culminate on Sunday with players, managers, coaches, umpires and other team personnel once again wearing blue wristbands and blue uniform decals. Each home team will also host pre-game Father's Day ceremonies and both clubs will use unique blue Father's Day lineup cards.
Various ballparks on Sunday will also feature an in-game public service announcement from the Prostate Cancer Foundation and Stand Up To Cancer, featuring music icon Quincy Jones and his daughter, actress Rashida Jones.
Overall, the PCF has raised more than $530 million since its origin in 1993 and has provided funding to more than 1,600 research projects at nearly 200 institutions in 16 different countries.
Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @paul_casella.