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Cubs go bald for pediatric cancer research

Rizzo among players to buzz heads for Maddon's annual fundraiser
MLB.com @CarrieMuskat

MESA, Ariz. -- It was a good day to get a haircut on Saturday as Cubs manager Joe Maddon hosted his fourth annual Respect Bald fundraiser.

Players, including Anthony Rizzo and Mike Montgomery, got their heads shaved, as did Maddon, to raise more than $80,000 for pediatric cancer research.

MESA, Ariz. -- It was a good day to get a haircut on Saturday as Cubs manager Joe Maddon hosted his fourth annual Respect Bald fundraiser.

Players, including Anthony Rizzo and Mike Montgomery, got their heads shaved, as did Maddon, to raise more than $80,000 for pediatric cancer research.

Rizzo, Jon Lester, Ben Zobrist and Jason Heyward donated $10,000 each so Cubs coach Marty Pevey's 21-year-old son, Tucker, would get his long brown hair cut as well. The Cubs surprised Pevey by bringing his wife, son, and daughter, Ashtin, 18, to Mesa for the event.

Four children who are battling cancer were guests of the event as was Cole Eicher, 16, a brain cancer survivor from Clearwater, Fla., who was a special guest of Respect 90. Eicher was diagnosed at 12 and is now cancer free.

"It's an unsupported cause," said Eicher, who has created the Gold Together organization to help battle pediatric cancer. "There's not a lot of people who know about childhood-cancer month in general, which is September. The ribbon color is gold. That's what I'm trying to do is raise awareness, raise research."

Tweet from @Cubs: Going bald to fight back against pediatric cancer. #RespectBald pic.twitter.com/4JCej8i5h4

Maddon met Eicher in early February and invited him to camp.

"Support, support, support these kids," Eicher said. "It really did something for me."

Maddon did shave his head, and he acknowledged that it will grow back silver. He started coloring his hair last year and says his wife, Jaye, eventually said she liked it darker. Once he has some hair to dye, he'll start the process again.

Tweet from @Maddonrespect90: 💈 16 yo brain cancer survivor Cole Eicher from St Petersburg takes the clippers to Joe at our 4th Annual #RespectBald Head Shaving Event to benefit pediatric cancer research. Cole was flown out to Mesa as Respect 90's guest of honor! pic.twitter.com/Gz0X48FH6k

General manager Jed Hoyer has expressed his preference for the bright white look that Maddon had before.

"It may disappoint some people, but my wife's on board, and that's all that matters," Maddon said.

Tweet from @CarrieMuskat: Maddon did tell the #Cubs players that if they didn't get their heads shaved today as part of Respect Bald, it won't affect their playing time

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat.

Chicago Cubs, Anthony Rizzo