For the seventh consecutive year, MLB and its Clubs will raise awareness for childhood cancer during all games on Friday, September 2, for a special league-wide day in home ballparks. MLB’s “Childhood Cancer Awareness Day,” held during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in collaboration with Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), will combine a visual and ceremonial demonstration of support for the cause with outreach to local hospitals treating young patients in their communities. By the end of 2022, it is projected that more than 10,000 children younger than 15 will be diagnosed with cancer in the United States alone, 300,000 globally.
On Friday, September 2, all on-field personnel, including players, managers, coaches, and umpires will wear gold ribbon decals and wristbands during all games. Home Clubs also may plan to feature ceremonial activities in their ballparks. Club activations may include youth participation in pregame ceremonies, virtual visits from players and mascots, and other special recognitions. Nonprofit partners for Clubs may include local hospital partners or organizations focused on childhood cancer, such as American Cancer Society, SU2C, Starlight Children’s Foundation, or others. Clubs on the road on September 2nd may select another home game to observe Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
As an extension of MLB’s longstanding relationship with Starlight Children’s Foundation, 15 Clubs have been selected to receive Starlight Nintendo Switch handhelds, which will be donated to a local children’s cancer hospital or hospital pediatric cancer care unit. The 15 Clubs include the Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Guardians, Colorado Rockies, Houston Astros, Kansas City Royals, Milwaukee Brewers, Minnesota Twins, New York Mets, Oakland Athletics, Pittsburgh Pirates, Seattle Mariners, Tampa Bay Rays and Texas Rangers.
Childhood cancer awareness efforts in previous seasons have included special batting practice t-shirts, online campaigns to empower fans to become fundraisers for pediatric cancer research, and donations to local children’s hospitals. MLB and Clubs have supported the fight against cancer through a variety of initiatives for many years. As Stand Up To Cancer’s founding donor, Major League Baseball and its Clubs have pledged more than $50 million to SU2C’s collaborative cancer research programs, providing invaluable support. Launched in 2013, the work of the Stand Up To Cancer – St. Baldrick’s Foundation Pediatric Cancer Dream Team has helped develop new treatments for difficult to treat pediatric leukemias which have been approved by the FDA.
Stand Up To Cancer’s pediatric cancer research is one of the largest segments of the organization’s portfolio, with 31 innovative pediatric cancer research grants, including four of SU2C’s signature “Dream Teams,” and 11 individual awards to early-career Innovative Research Grants, supporting 51 clinical trials with more than 1,300 pediatric patients enrolled. SU2C-funded research has helped support two FDA approvals for new treatments to improve pediatric leukemia patients’ outcomes and minimize side effects. MLB has recognized SU2C at its jewel events since the 2009 World Series.
Club Examples – 2022 Childhood Cancer Awareness
The Atlanta Braves will commemorate Childhood Cancer Awareness Day on Friday, September 2 as the Braves take on the Miami Marlins. The Braves are offering two complimentary game tickets that day for each childhood cancer fighter/survivor. Gates will open one hour early exclusively for these families to enjoy the zip-line, carnival-style games, and photos with the World Champions Trophy inside Hope and Will’s Sandlot at Truist Park. All participating families will also be invited to walk in a parade around the warning track, and fifty randomly selected children will be asked to participate in an on-field ceremony pregame. The Atlanta Braves and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta hosted an art contest to design the cover of the series playbill. One winner’s artwork will be featured, and all other submissions will be displayed in Truist Park and online at braves.com/ccawareness. Throughout the month of September, the Braves are running an online charity auction with proceeds benefiting local partner childhood cancer charities. Proceeds from the 50/50 raffle on September 2 will also be donated to the cause. Additionally, on September 17, the Braves will host the BLOOPER 1-Mile Fun Run at the ballpark, raising money for partner charities.
A child from the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center will help with the lineup card exchange and yell “Play Ball” prior to the Orioles game on September 2nd. Infielder Terrin Vavra has partnered with #VsCancer to help support children with brain tumors. The Orioles are supporting a special fan-led donation campaign that will benefit the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation’s #VsCancer program.
Boston Red Sox
In recognition of childhood cancer awareness month in September, the Red Sox will celebrate children who have battled the disease in pregame ceremonies before the 7:10 p.m. September 2 Red Sox-Rangers game at Fenway Park. Over three hundred children and their adult caregivers from the Jimmy Fund and Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation will form a human gold ribbon in centerfield during the ceremony. Additionally, children who are battling cancer or have overcome the disease will take part in other pregame elements including the ceremonial first pitch and saying “Play Ball.” The Red Sox began hosting a day at Fenway Park dedicated to childhood cancer in 2015.
Chicago White Sox
The Chicago White Sox will recognize Childhood Cancer Awareness Day on Friday, September 2 at Guaranteed Rate Field. Mascot Southpaw will deliver Starlight Nintendo Switch handhelds to the child life staff at RUSH University Medical Center to give to two kids undergoing treatment, while the team welcomes three children battling cancer and their families to the ballpark for a special pregame and Community Clubhouse Suite experience.
The Reds are proudly recognizing Childhood Cancer Awareness Month on Friday, Sept. 2 with activities in the community and ceremonies at Great American Ball Park. Reds mascots are scheduled to visit Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center’s Seacrest Studios to donate two Starlight Gaming Handhelds. During pregame ceremonies that evening (Reds vs. Rockies, 6:40 p.m.) representatives from the Dragonfly Foundation will throw out a ceremonial first pitch and participate in the Game Ball Delivery. Reds players and on-field personnel will wear gold ribbons and wristbands to show their support for the cause.
In partnership with Cleveland Clinic and their nationally recognized cancer research, the Guardians are a Founding Partner of VeloSano. Thanks to VeloSano, their premier cancer research fundraising initiative, $30 million has been raised since 2014 – with 1OO% of those funds directly supporting over 200 cancer research projects. This season, the Guardians cycling team has raised over $250,000 and is excited to ride on Sept. 9-11. As part of the weekend, the Guardians will host the Guardians City Loop which offers riders of all ages the chance to ride around the warning track at Progressive Field.
On September 9th, the Rockies are partnering with the Starlight Children’s Foundation on a hospital visit to Children’s Hospital Colorado that will include Rockies mascot “Dinger” and several Rockies players. Earlier in August, the Rockies partnered with Southwest Airlines to fly a group of pediatric cancer patients from Children’s Hospital Colorado down to Arizona for a vacation that included a trip to the Rockies vs. Diamondbacks game on Aug. 8
The Tigers extended more than 500 tickets to childhood cancer survivors, families and doctors, nurses, researchers and support staff from local children’s hospitals for Childhood Cancer Awareness Day at Comerica Park on Sept. 1. In addition, youth participants from Kids Kicking Cancer – a metro-Detroit based non-profit organization providing free martial arts classes and uniforms, classes and support programming for siblings and families among other services – will participate in a special on-field pre-game ceremony. Participants and their families have been invited to the game and will engage in various other promotions throughout the game, including standing with Tigers players and coaches during the National Anthem, assisting with the lineup card exchange and calling “Play Ball” prior to the start of the game.
The Astros will highlight Childhood Cancer Awareness in many ways throughout the month of September. The Astros will highlight three different non-profit organizations dedicated to childhood cancer through the first home series of the month, Sept. 5-7 vs. the Texas Rangers with a pregame ceremony, honorary first pitch, first call, organization awareness table on the concourse, batting practice passes, 250 charity tickets and a portion of the proceeds from Share2Care to each organization on their dedicated game. On September 5, the Astros will highlight B.I.G. Love Cancer Care, an organization that eases the childhood cancer journey, with their core mission to meet the most basic and urgent physical, emotional, and financial needs of pediatric oncology and hematology patients and their families. On September 6, the organization highlighted will be Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Family Alliance, which was founded by families of children with cancer FOR families with children with cancer to be a light in the darkness, providing emotional, educational and practical support to families of children with cancer. Then on September 7, the organization recognized will be The Sunshine Kids Foundation, which adds quality of life to children with cancer by providing them with exciting positive group activities, so they may once again do what kids are meant to do, have fun and celebrate live. For the entirety of the series with the Rangers, Sept. 5-7, the Astros will also have a yellow ribbon flag dropped from the home run pump in center field for childhood cancer awareness.
Kansas City Royals
The Royals for a Cause: Childhood Cancer Awareness day will be held on September 7th. This effort, sponsored by the University of Kansas Health System, will invite several childhood cancer nonprofits out for tabling as well as to participate in several on-field elements such as first pitch, National Anthem, Play Ball kid, and a special pregame ceremony. Braden’s Hope (a local non-profit for childhood cancer) will be selling tickets to the game and in return, the Royals will have handouts for the fans to hold up during the game at their seats. Through the Starlight Children’s Foundation, the Royals are providing Nintendo Switches to the pediatric cancer unit of the University of Kansas Health System. 50/50 raffle proceeds in the ballpark will help provide grants to several of the organizations that are out that day.
Los Angeles Angels
The Angels will be making two visits to the local children’s hospitals in Southern California during the month of September, including Miller Children’s and Women’s Hospital Long Beach. Angels players will spend time with young patients going through cancer treatments at the hospitals. In addition, Angels Baseball will be donating $20,000 to Memorial Care medical group for continued support during Childhood Cancer Awareness month.
Los Angeles Dodgers
As part of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ commitment to serving the community, the Community Relations department strives to make a significant impact in the lives of children affected by childhood cancer. This is done through Dodger Blue Wishes, a program designed to inspire and create an unforgettable experience for Dodgers fans facing a serious health condition or illness. The Dodgers have fulfilled hundreds of Blue Wishes since the inception of the program. Most recently, on July 27th, 2022, the Community Relations department granted Anthony (AJ) De La Torres’s wish. AJ is 14 years old and is currently battling brain cancer. He just received his 68th blood transfusion and his only wish was to come to a Dodgers game and meet Fernando Valenzuela, Will Smith, Evan Phillips, and his favorite player, Justin Turner. Through the Dodger Blue Wish program, the Dodgers welcomed AJs to the Dodgers’ Family and fulfilled his wish. Similarly, during our 2022 All Star Week at Dodger Stadium, the Los Angeles Dodgers Community Relations department was able to grant the wishes of two childhood cancer patients, Bryan and Brody. Bryan is a 17-year-old with Lymphoma and Brody is a 6-year-old with Leukemia. In collobration with Major Leauge Baseball and Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Dodgers ensured that these childhood cancer patients and their families were provided with the full Dodger experience; a suite and the opportunity to meet all of the All Star Players and celebrities participating in the celebrity softball game.
To bring awareness to Childhood Cancer, the Miami Marlins are partnering with Alex’s Place to bring children from UHealth – The University of Miami Health System for a fun day of Marlins Baseball at loanDepot park on Wednesday, September 21. Alex’s Place at Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center is a state-of-the-art facility that provides our pediatric, adolescent, and young adult patients with survivorship care. The Marlins will also celebrate a doctor from UHealth’s Pediatric Oncology team at the game during the Marlins Impact Moment.
On September 9th a child from the MACC Fund (Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer) will throw out the ceremonial first pitch. In addition, Brewers alumni and the mascots will deliver Nintendo Switch handhelds to children at a local children’s hospital. The Nintendo Switches were donated by Starlight Children’s Foundation.
The Minnesota Twins will raise awareness of childhood cancer, while advocating and supporting research, throughout the month of September. During special pregame ceremonies prior to the club’s Wednesday, September 14th home game against the Kansas City Royals at Target Field, the Twins will recognize the Children’s Cancer Research Fund (CCRF), a Minnesota-based national nonprofit that has contributed $170 million to research, education, awareness and quality-of-life programs for childhood cancer families; the Twins will also celebrate a special starting lineup featuring children who have received support from CCRF. Additionally, and in partnership with the Correa Family Foundation, the Twins will honor a child who is currently receiving treatment at Children’s Minnesota with an on-field recognition and ceremonial first pitch that evening. Also in early-September, Twins players, staff and team mascot, T.C., will visit Children’s Minnesota to spend quality time with patients and their families, while the club will partner with Love Your Melon to provide the kids with a co-branded Twins beanie. Lastly, the Twins’ home game on Tuesday, September 27 against the Chicago White Sox will be “Love Your Melon” night at Target Field; a portion of the proceeds from a special ticket package that night will support Love Your Melon’s nonprofit partners that are leading the fight against pediatric cancer.
New York Mets
The Mets will host a Childhood Cancer Awareness Clinic with Carlos Carrasco at Citi Field on Saturday, September 3rd. Additionally, on September 14th Carrasco will participate in his annual “Cookie’s Kids Hospital Visit,” during which the Mets will be donating Nintendo Switches in partnership with the Starlight Children’s Foundation.
New York Yankees
Throughout Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, the Yankees will partner with Make-A-Wish Metro New York to host children afflicted with critical illnesses. Beginning on September 6, in the first of four such instances taking place during the month, Make-A-Wish kids will be special guests of the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium and will take part in various activities unique to them. Each guest will have the opportunity to receive a private tour of the New York Yankees Museum presented by Bank of America, visit Monument Park, be on the field for meet-and-greets with Yankees players during batting practice and more. Each guest will also receive Yankees merchandise and complimentary tickets and dining for that night’s game. The Yankees are proud to partner with Make-A-Wish Metro New York in their efforts to lift children’s spirits and grant wishes that provide strength, hope and transformation in a child and community.
In addition and on a year-round basis, the Yankees partner with the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to support the Center’s programs in pediatric patient care, research, and education via the New York Yankees Universe fund. Proceeds for the fund are generated by donations and via sales of Yankees Universe t-shirts and membership plans available at yankees.com. Generated funds support pediatric cancer research and care, helping to contribute to advances in the treatment of children with cancer.
The A's will honor those who are currently fighting or who have courageously battled different types of childhood cancer during Childhood Cancer Awareness Day on Tuesday, Sept. 6. In collaboration with Major League Baseball and Starlight Children’s Foundation, the A’s are one of 15 Clubs selected to receive a donation of Nintendo Switches to give to pediatric patients. On Tuesday, Sept. 6, A’s players and team mascot Stomper will visit patients at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Oakland to distribute the Nintendo Switches, pass out A’s goodies, and play video games and other activities. Later that evening, the A's and Make-A-Wish Greater Bay Area are teaming up to host 10 Wish kids at the Coliseum for a fun night of A's baseball. The kids will watch A's batting practice before the 6:40 p.m. matchup versus the Braves, take the field with A's players during the national anthem, and enjoy other in-game activities like joining the TV broadcast booth.
At the Phillies' game against the Nationals on Friday, September 9, the club will host its Childhood Cancer Awareness Night presented by Nemours Children's Health. The evening will feature a lineup of courage, where children battling cancer will take the field with Phillies players during the national anthem. Also, the Phillies will unfurl a large golden ribbon in centerfield, which will be held by families whose children lost their battle to cancer, alongside members of the Phillies family and Nemour's Children's Health. Another moment featured will be a ceremonial homerun, as a child battling cancer will have the chance to swing the bat and "hit" a homerun, with the Phillies and Nationals along the baselines. Childhood cancer survivors will also take part in various Phillies once-in-a-lifetime experiences, including singing the national anthem and Take Me Out to the Ballgame, announcing the starting lineup, dancing with the Phanatic, guest DJ'ing in the PhanaVision control room, and taking over the team's Instagram account. The game also includes a Gold Knitted Scarf giveaway courtesy of Nemours Children's Health, which will be given to 2,500 fans who have purchased a special Theme Night ticket offer in advance.
Several Pirates players will visit a pediatric cancer unit at a Pittsburgh-based hospital on September 2nd to deliver Nintendo Switches in partnership with the Starlight Children’s Foundation. In addition to a variety of fundraising efforts, both in-ballpark and online, the Pirates will host a special Stand Up To Cancer Moment at PNC Park before the seventh inning stretch, during which both teams and umpires will participate on the field. Pregame ceremonies will include children, families and a doctor connected to the cause.
San Diego Padres
The Padres main support for cancer research/treatment is through the annual Padres Pedal the Cause event, which raised $3.2m this past April. The Padres will recognize UC San Diego Health on September 5th with various pregame activities.
San Francisco Giants
The Giants will host Childhood Cancer Awareness Night on Friday, Sept. 2. Both the Giants and the Phillies will wear a gold ribbon, the symbol of childhood cancer awareness, on their jerseys to raise awareness for this dreadful disease that impacts thousands of children each year. The Giants will be joined by oncology nurses and doctors and families with children living with cancer for the game and these guests will be featured in a live video welcome on the scoreboard. One special child will kick off the game with the “Play Ball” call and another will throw out the ceremonial first pitch. Special T-shirts will be provided to the kids and their families courtesy of the Crawford Family and Tiny Turnip.
St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals are inviting pediatric cancer patients and a parent from Mercy Hospital St. Louis to the game. The group will take part in a pregame field visit to watch batting practice before heading to their seats to enjoy the game. One patient, representing pediatric cancer patients, will take part in a pregame ceremony and throw out an honorary pitch. Also attending the game are Mercy Hospital pediatric care team members. On the morning of September 2nd, The Cardinals will visit Mercy Hospital St. Louis pediatric cancer patients and Fredbird and Team Fredbird will hand out items and pose for photos.
Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays are donating their Nintendo Switches (in partnership with Starlight Children’s Foundation) to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando. They are currently working on a virtual activation that will be shared on the hospital’s CCTV. Additionally, representatives from Arnold Palmer Hospital will attend the game and be recognized.
The Rangers hosted a full activation with Stand Up to Cancer and American Airlines on Saturday, August 27 with Placard moment, pregame presentations, and raffle proceeds going to SU2C. Twelve-year-old Annabelle Grace Bartel, currently in remission from a rare childhood cancer known as Osteosarcoma, threw the ceremonial first pitch to Rangers interim manager and colorectal cancer survivor, Tony Beasley. 50/50 raffle proceeds donated to SU2C totaled $22,000.