Mark McGwire and Ken Griffey, Jr. Among Major Leaguers In 1999 CaP CURE Home Run Challenge

SANTA MONICA, Calif., June 18 /PRNewswire/ -- A year after Mark McGwire's record-breaking home run season, the St. Louis slugger is joining more than 70 Major League players and managers to participate in a unique program to raise awareness and funds for prostate cancer research.

CaP CURE's Home Run Challenge focuses attention on the importance of research to cure prostate cancer, a disease that affects one out of every six American men. From June 20 -- 25, every home run hit will raise funds for research, with individuals from around the country making pledges for each home run in 60 scheduled games. Now in its fourth year, the Home Run Challenge will be stronger than ever with the participation of more players, more managers and new partners in the National Prostate Cancer Coalition and the Cancer Research Institute.

``I'm happy I can help raise money for prostate cancer research and increase public awareness by doing what I enjoy,'' said Terry Steinbach, Home Run Challenge player representative and catcher for the Minnesota Twins. Mark McGwire, who lent his support to the program during his record-breaking year, added, ``I'm proud to use my talents in the fight against prostate cancer. If we all do our part, some day older men like my father will never have to worry about the disease. And neither will our sons.''

Teams are supporting the program by hosting pre-game ceremonies, running public service announcements on radio, television and stadium screens, as well as donating tickets to cancer survivors and researchers.

The importance of this effort has been amplified this season by news that one of baseball's leading figures -- Joe Torre, coach of the World Champion New York Yankees -- is fighting his own battle with prostate cancer. Torre, who returned to coaching on May 17 two months after undergoing surgery, is one of the lead manager representatives for the Home Run Challenge.

``We've kept quiet about this disease for too long,'' says Torre, who plans to continue coaching the Yankees while undergoing further treatment this season. ``Prostate cancer poses a serious risk -- especially to men over 40. It's time we all did something about it.''

Player representatives from all 30 Major League teams are promoting the Home Run Challenge. Terry Steinbach is the lead player representative, with Reggie Jackson and Tommy Lasorda serving as the project's Goodwill Ambassadors. Mark McGwire has filmed a public service announcement that promotes both the program and prostate cancer awareness. Ken Griffey, Jr. will be featured in Home Run Challenge promotions.

Other participating Major League players include: Jay Bell, Tim Salmon, Barry Larkin, Mike Bordick, Al Martin, Ray Durham, Nomar Garciaparra, Jeff Bagwell, Jim Thome, Scott Brosius, Jason Giambi, Walt Weiss, Dante Bichette, Eric Karros, Jeff Cirillo, Mike Sweeney, Ron Coomer, Dan Wilson, Carlos Delgado, Stan Javier, Mark Grace, Paul Sorretto, Scott Rolen, Greg Myers, Jorge Fabregas, Eli Marrero, Dean Palmer, Ivan Rodriguez, Chris Widger and Robin Ventura. All 30 Major League managers are participating. Tony La Russa, Dusty Baker, Lou Piniella, Tom Kelly, Johnny Oates, Felipe Alou and prostate cancer survivor, Joe Torre are serving as the project's lead managers.


The Home Run Challenge makes it easy for everyone to join the fight. Individuals can make a pledge of 25 cents to $10,000 for each home run hit during Major League games from June 20-25. Individuals cans also make a one-time contribution. Pledges can be made by calling 1-800-547-CURE or by going online to Yahoo!® Sports at ( Details about the Home Run Challenge, as well as information about Major League teams, players and managers involved, are available on Yahoo! Sports. Beginning June 14 and running through June 28, fans can also support CaP CURE's Home Run Challenge through Yahoo! Auctions (, a leading interactive commerce marketplace connecting buyers and sellers. Through the dedicated Yahoo! charity auction, people can bid on a lineup of autographed baseballs from players, including Bell, Garciaparra, Giambi, Rodriguez and other major leaguers. All proceeds raised will go directly to CaP CURE and will be used to further research efforts.

Yahoo! Sports connects fans with comprehensive coverage of all sports teams, leagues and international events, and is part of Yahoo!'s global network of properties.

In 1998, 127 home runs were hit during the 60 designated games, raising more than $6.5 million in pledges from individuals and organizations in just five days.


CaP CURE, the Association for the Cure of Cancer of the Prostate, is a non-profit charity that rapidly identifies and funds promising prostate cancer research, attracts scientists to the field, raises public awareness and fosters collaboration among physicians and prostate cancer research projects around the globe. CaP CURE scientists have developed revolutionary vaccines, therapies and other treatments that give hope to prostate cancer patients.

The Cancer Research Institute is a nonprofit organization founded in 1953 to advance the field of cancer immunology. Based in New York, the Institute is recognized for its constant support of excellence and for the vital role it has played in pioneering this field. The Prostate Cancer initiative, a program developed by the Cancer Research Institute in conjunction with the American Cancer Society, serves clinical research, patient care and publication education needs.

The National Prostate Cancer Coalition, founded in 1996, is a grassroots advocacy organization that is dedicated to eliminating prostate cancer as a serious health concern for men and their families. The NPCC's goals are educating the public in prostate cancer awareness, engaging the prostate cancer community in advocacy; and increasing federal funding for prostate cancer research. The organization includes national, regional and local prostate cancer organizations, researchers, physicians and individual prostate cancer survivors, their families and supporters.

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