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MLB to spotlight Stand Up To Cancer in Game 1

In-game tribute scheduled to follow fifth inning of World Series opener

SAN FRANCISCO -- Major League Baseball's annual rollout of community initiatives for Games 1-4 of the World Series will begin Wednesday with a focus on Stand Up To Cancer and the overall quest to cure the disease in our lifetimes, and for the second year in a row you can expect players from the two contending teams to be dramatically involved.

As a special in-game tribute after the fifth inning of Game 1 on FOX between the Tigers and Giants, everyone at AT&T Park will stand united and hold placards with the names of loved ones affected by cancer, paying tribute to those in the fight. Last year in Texas, Cardinals and Rangers players stood at the top of the dugout and participated as well, a moving scene as the athletes -- focused on their ultimate games -- stopped to raise awareness for a more important cause.

It will be just one moment within a whole day of activity targeted to this subject, and it will be a poignant example of why MLB is using its greatest stage as a platform to activate citizens in hopes of making a difference together. Game 2 is dedicated to Welcome Back Veterans. For Game 3, MLB will support youth, especially those in underserved communities, with programs including Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Breaking Barriers. Game 4 will celebrate community service with a focus on Habitat for Humanity.

"The World Series provides our charitable partners with a platform to shed light on social issues that are critically important to Major League Baseball and our fans," Commissioner Bud Selig said. "As a social institution with important social responsibilities, Major League Baseball is proud to continue using the attraction of the Fall Classic to make a positive impact in people's lives."

Helping to get Game 1 started will be a familiar face to millions, as "American Idol" season 11 winner and singer-songwriter Phillip Phillips performs the Star-Spangled Banner. Phillips, a former prep baseball player, performed his hit song "Home" on the field before the All-Star Game at Kansas City in July. He is the second "Idol" winner and former high school ballplayer to sing the Game 1 national anthem, following Scotty McCreery a year ago.

Fans watching Game 1 on FOX are encouraged to declare who they stand up for on Facebook, by going to, by following #IStandUpFor on Twitter or by going to to learn more about how to donate and get involved. The flow of social activity and conversations supporting #IStandUpFor, including Twitter and Instagram, is accessible at's Stand Up To Cancer social media hub.

A spot starring Steve Carell, Colin Hanks and Ken Jeong "standing up to cancer" will also air during the World Series. Carell, Hanks and Jeong, all of whom have become SU2C ambassadors due to their personal connections to the cause, took to the field at Boston's Fenway Park to recreate signature moments in baseball history, helping fans across the nation to believe that anything is possible.

During the day on Wednesday, baseball icons, team officials and MLB and SU2C executives will visit the UCSF Medical Center, which specializes in treating cancer patients. It will be the second such visit in the last three years, as MLB did the same at the 2010 World Series.

That group will be joined by the Starlight Children's Foundation to place a Starlight Fun Center mobile entertainment unit for young patients. The Fun Center is designed to combat the anxiety and weariness faced by hospitalized children and includes a Nintendo Wii gaming system, a TV and a DVD player.

In 2008, MLB became the founding donor to SU2C, and along with its 30 clubs, MLB has donated more than $30 million to the groundbreaking initiative since its inception. Last month, $81 million was raised in the second biennial SU2C telethon, again with baseball's involvement.

MasterCard will give fans entering AT&T Park a special SU2C World Series-themed bracelet to wear throughout the game to show support. On the field prior to the game, MasterCard will present a $4 million contribution to SU2C, signifying the culmination of the Dine and Be Generous campaign. Through the program, which launched at the All-Star Game, MasterCard made a contribution to SU2C when cardholders spent $10 or more for a meal on their MasterCard cards, up to $4 million.

To acknowledge the millions of consumers who helped contribute to the donation, MasterCard debuted a "Thank You" spot during the broadcast of the National League Division Series. The spot features Red Sox pitcher and cancer survivor Jon Lester along with 9-year-old cancer patient Justin Miller, who was featured in SU2C's live telethon. Lester, who beat non-Hodgkin lymphoma, donated his time to film the spot.

The game ball will be delivered by Mario Barajas of the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Francisco.

Mark Newman is enterprise editor of Read and join other baseball fans on his community blog.