Major League Baseball has been enjoyed by thousands of fans around the world for generations. This fall marks the 116th World Series, with this year’s Fall Classic played between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Tampa Bay Rays. Although there have been several changes and new precautions because of COVID-19, one thing has not changed: the league’s devotion to Stand Up To Cancer.
Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) is an organization devoted to providing funding for groundbreaking studies and treatments for cancer. They have helped begin or complete over 180 clinical trials, leading to eight FDA-approved cancer therapies since being founded in 2008. SU2C has over 1,900 researchers in several hundred institutions performing research on immunology, pediatric cancer and other topics. With their partners, this organization has been able to provide more than $600 million to cancer research.
This poses the question: how does Major League Baseball connect to SU2C?
When the organization was in the developmental stages, Major League Baseball became the founding donor. The MLB and its 30 clubs donated $10 million in 2008, a sum that has grown to over $50 million in their 12-year partnership. The greatest part about this partnership is that it isn’t solely about the money. Beginning with the 2009 World Series, the MLB has had a moment to honor SU2C and those who have been affected by cancer during each All-Star Game and World Series.
The MLB continued this tradition at last Wednesday’s game after the fifth inning, pausing the game to have all in attendance hold up a sign with the name(s) of those close to them who have battled with cancer.
This moment of unity connects the players and fans beyond rivalries and reminds them that they share more than a love for baseball. This moment hits close to home for the fans and athletes because three players within different clubs have battled with cancer in recent years. Jameson Taillon, Chad Bettis and Carlos Carrasco have all been diagnosed with forms of cancer while being an active player. These three players have since recovered and made their way back to the diamond, but the challenges they and others have faced are not to be forgotten.
Many athletes and sports organizations take up causes because being charitable is a great way to recover an image, however that is not the case with the MLB. Each year they continue to be supportive of SU2C because they believe in helping raise awareness for the cause. Simply donating funding does not resonate with an audience the way this interactive feature does, and the MLB does it well. Fans and players alike know that whether your sign says “Mom” or “David Bowie”, you are able to stand up to cancer with the person next to you.
Ashley Beach is a freshman studying journalism at Ohio University. Please note that the views and opinions of the columnists do not reflect those of The Post. Want to talk more about it? Let Ashley know by emailing her at email@example.com.