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Black, Padres players honor those battling cancer

Players attend Rady Children's Hospital Celebration of Champions

San Diego -- Long before he was the Padres manager, Bud Black along with his wife, Nan, thought it was important to be a part of the Rady Children's Hospital Celebration of Champions.

The Blacks along with some of the team attended the 18th annual event on Saturday at Embarcadero Marina Park North, to honor about 100 children and young adults battling cancer, as well as long-term survivors of the disease, all of whom will also be honored at Saturday's game against the Nationals.

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"It's such a well-run day filled with a great deal of emotion and spirit, and it's great to be a part of," Black said. "I know that all of our players that participate in that enjoy that event as much as any event that we do as an organization."

The Blacks got involved thanks to a family friend, the Peckhams, whose son, Matt, was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 5. Now Matt is 25-years-old and living a healthy life. His family went on to start the Peckham Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders. The event hits especially close to home for Black after his father died of cancer.

Other members of the Padres in attendance included Logan Forsythe, Cory Luebke, Chase Headley, John Baker, Nick Hundley, Luke Gregerson, Anthony Bass, Brad Brach Jedd Gyorko, Everth Cabrera, Jason Marquis, Will Venable, Kyle Blanks, Tyson Ross and the Blacks.

"Anything with the kids I try to give back a little bit," said Forsythe, who participated for the first time. "Something like that's active, it's fun."

Jamal Collier is an associate reporter for

San Diego Padres