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World Series: MLB, Stand Up To Cancer launch PSA

By
Alex Butler

Nov. 1 (UPI) -- Major League Baseball (MLB) and Stand Up To Cancer teamed up for a new public service announcement during the World Series.

The PSA, called "Whatever It Takes," debuted on Saturday during the Los Angeles Dodgers' 6-2 Game 4 victory against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park in Texas.

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The tradition continued with a moving tribute when thousands of fans at the ballpark held up cards honoring those currently in the fight or those who have been lost to cancer.

Players from both teams, umpires, media, fans and others held up signs around the ballpark in an emotional scene.

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MLB and its 30 franchises are the founding donors of SU2C, committing $43 million to SU2C's cancer research.

Cleveland Indians star Jason Kipnis, the Washington Nationals' Michael A. Taylor and the Dodgers' Yasmani Grandal are also involved in the PSAs.

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In one of the PSAs, the players look to drop bunts with 10-year-old cancer survivor Jacob Teel and 33-year-old survivor Dalia Margolis.

"Major League Baseball is proud that our partnership with Stand Up To Cancer is a prominent part of the celebration surrounding jewel events," MLB commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. said in a news release. "We hope that launching this new public service announcement campaign alongside this year's World Series Stand Up moment will give added attention to the cause. Due to the great support from our fans, Clubs and players, Baseball continues the fight against this horrible disease."

"The leadership, compassion and generous commitment MLB has demonstrated and made is absolutely extraordinary," said SU2C Co-Founder Rusty Robertson. "For nearly a decade, MLB has been one of our biggest allies in leading a national movement for cutting-edge research and innovative cancer treatments to save lives. The sight of 50,000 people of all walks of life standing shoulder to shoulder with players, coaches, broadcasters, and owners, holding signs in honor of loved ones, has become one of the most indelible and moving tributes in all of sports and pop culture. It underscores how this terrible disease affects everyone, and it will take a powerful movement to end it."

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Teel has battled cancer three times in his life and was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia at 3-years-old. He appeared in July's All-Star Legends and Celebrity Softball Game in Miami, hitting a single and scoring the first run for his team. Margolis was diagnosed with synovial sarcoma in 2005. She was 22-years-old at the time of the diagnosis and underwent rounds of chemotherapy, before being declared cancer-free in 2006.

"I am honored to be included in this Stand Up To Cancer campaign, and proud to help Major League Baseball in supporting this worthy cause," Taylor said of paraticipating in the campaign. "Unfortunately, it seems we've all had our lives touched by cancer in one way or another. I admire the strength and perseverance of all who go through that battle, and those committed to finding a cure."

Instead of featuring crushed home runs to awe the crowd, the video features MLB stars smacking down bunts to bring runners home.

"As we continue to swing for the fences, at Stand Up To Cancer we know that any advancement can bring someone home," the PSA message said. "Stand up for the 16 million people living with cancer in the U.S. and Canada. Visit StandUpToCancer.org."

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Cancer affects one in two men and one in three women in the United States.

"I'm proud to participate in MLB's SU2C campaign - with my mother's illness and witnessing what Mike Aviles' young daughter, Adriana, went through, I'm eager to assist any way I can to eliminate this awful disease," Kipnis said.

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