June 16, 2012

Rangers, MLB take a swing at prostate cancer

Baseball is a game long known to be passed down from fathers to sons.

Baseball is a game long known to be passed down from fathers to sons.

Michael Young remembers learning how to play from his father, Fred, and playing at the highest level on Father's Day is always special.

"I have a lot of great memories spending time with my father, and playing ball reminds you of that and ties everything in," Young said.

For Young and other MLB players, Father's Day also helps bring awareness of prostate cancer. MLB and the players' association have partnered with the Prostate Cancer Foundation to put on a 'Home Run Challenge' to raise money for prostate cancer research.

All home runs hit from June 7 through today will generate money for the foundation. In 2011, there were 90 home runs hit during that 11-day stretch to raise nearly $2 million.

Young, Nelson Cruz and manager Ron Washington are the Rangers' representatives for the program.

"I've been involved for the past few years, and it's an issue that we as players want to bring awareness to," Young said.

Prostate cancer has affected more than 16 million men and their families, and men are 35 percent more likely to develop prostate cancer than women are to develop breast cancer. The foundation estimates that 242,000 men in the United States will be diagnosed with prostate cancer this year.

"Whatever I can to do to help, I'm glad to," Cruz said. "It's a great cause to help people in tough situations in their life."

-- Drew Davison

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