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Schmidt promotes skin-cancer awareness

Special to MLB.com

PHILADELPHIA -- Mike Schmidt has thrown out the first pitch on many occasions for the Phillies since his career ended in 1989.

Odds are, none of them came with an important message like the one being promoted on Sunday afternoon. The Hall of Fame third baseman, who is one of five men to have their numbers retired by the organization, was advocating for a cause close to him -- the fight against skin cancer.

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PHILADELPHIA -- Mike Schmidt has thrown out the first pitch on many occasions for the Phillies since his career ended in 1989.

Odds are, none of them came with an important message like the one being promoted on Sunday afternoon. The Hall of Fame third baseman, who is one of five men to have their numbers retired by the organization, was advocating for a cause close to him -- the fight against skin cancer.

View Full Game Coverage

Video: PIT@PHI: Schmidt tosses out the first pitch

Schmidt was joined by Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney to celebrate Mike Schmidt RDK Melanoma Awareness Day at Citizens Bank Park. The message that Schmidt and the officials at the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center have been stressing is the importance of wearing sunscreen and staying safe in the sun.

A new public service announcement was aired on Phanavision before the game, with Schmidt encouraging fans to use the free sunscreen kiosks around the ballpark, which dispense SPF 30 sunscreen.

Schmidt, 70, battled stage three skin cancer in 2013, undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

"Take it from me -- someone who spent his entire life in the sun without sunscreen," Schmidt said in the public service announcement. "I paid a heavy price."

Kevin Cooney is a contributor to MLB.com based in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Phillies