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Father's Day meaningful for Mets, D-backs

MLB.com

PHOENIX -- Prior to Sunday's Mets-D-backs Father's Day game at Chase Field, fans turned to the center-field scoreboard for a message from D-backs president and CEO Derrick Hall.

Hall, a prostate cancer survivor, founded the Pro-State Foundation in January 2013. On Sunday, he urged men to get tested for the disease and encouraged everyone to aid in the fight against it.

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PHOENIX -- Prior to Sunday's Mets-D-backs Father's Day game at Chase Field, fans turned to the center-field scoreboard for a message from D-backs president and CEO Derrick Hall.

Hall, a prostate cancer survivor, founded the Pro-State Foundation in January 2013. On Sunday, he urged men to get tested for the disease and encouraged everyone to aid in the fight against it.

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"Let's turn those prostate problems into a pro state of mind," Hall said.

The D-backs recognized an outstanding physician and an outstanding father before the game. Fans can visit pro-state.org for information on Hall's foundation.

The Mets and D-backs honored dads everywhere by wearing blue caps, wristbands and ribbons on their jerseys. Players were also able to order special blue bats, gloves and cleats to support Major League Baseball's Keep Dad in the Game program to raise awareness and funds to battle prostate cancer.

MLB will again donate all royalty payments from the sales of specialty caps and apparel to the Prostate Cancer Foundation and Stand Up To Cancer.

Shop Father's Day gear

Major League Baseball is also celebrating Father's Day with the annual Prostate Cancer Foundation Home Run Challenge. MLB Charities has pledged $50,000 to the Prostate Cancer Foundation for research, and fans can join the cause by pledging a donation for each home run hit from June 1 through Sunday at HomeRunChallenge.org. The proceeds, which go to the Prostate Cancer Foundation, were also counted toward the Team vs. Team competition.

Tweet from @DbacksBaxter: So excited to be hanging out with my dad at Chase Field today for the @Dbacks game! Happy #FathersDay, dad. 😸 pic.twitter.com/DPS2KwSzl5

Father's Day is especially meaningful for a few D-backs this year.

Catcher Jeff Mathis and his wife just welcomed their daughter, Sloane, on June 10. She's their second child.

"I knew what to expect second time around," Mathis said. "First time, I didn't know anything about it. It helped a little bit that I had been through it once, but it was still amazing, awesome, exciting."

Steven Souza Jr.'s son Micah was born in December. He said a few different aspects of fatherhood surprised him.

"Well I think, at first, it's all the diapers you have to change," he said. "Then when they walk, how much you've got to protect them. Following them around, making sure they survive and not jumping in a pool or something."

Souza is injured, but he said it hasn't excused him from being a father.

"In fact, it probably gets me as many more duties as possible," Souza joked. "It's been a blast and I'm very thankful to be a father. It's a special day for me."

Justin Toscano is a reporter for MLB.com based in Phoenix.

New York Mets, Arizona Diamondbacks