Wilson on board with Motte's fundraising effort
Pitcher brings charitable 'K cancer' T-shirts into Angels' clubhouse
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Spend some time in the Angels' clubhouse, and you're likely to see a lot of those red "K cancer" T-shirts that are gaining popularity these days.
The idea sprang from Cardinals reliever Jason Motte, who began selling the shirts last spring to raise money for a cancer center in Memphis, Tenn. And they were brought into the Angels' clubhouse courtesy of C.J. Wilson, one of a growing list of Major Leaguers throughout the country jumping on the idea.
The website 108stitches.com went live on May 17, with 108 Stitches showcasing the strikeout cancer tees in each team's colors. Each is promoted by a different player who agreed to join Motte in a partnership that will benefit multiple charities. Each participating player has chosen a charity that will benefit from the T-shirt sales. For each shirt sold, $5 will go to the Jason Motte Foundation and $5 to a charity of that player's choice. A full list of recipient charities will be listed on the 108 Stitches website soon, along with a photo of each player rep in his team-colored shirt.
"At the end of the day, it's about reaching people," Motte said. "Baseball is great and everything, but there are other really important things going on out there that affect a lot of people. Wearing these t-shirts shows people that they're not alone. They're not sitting there doing chemo by themselves where no one cares. People do care, whether it's friends, family or baseball players. There are people who this has touched and this has affected. This is something we're trying to do to get the word out there and try to raise money to help."
Wilson is the founder of C.J. Wilson's Children's Charities, which benefits kids affected by chronic, life-threatening illnesses and dealing with social or financial challenges.
Last year, with the help of Head & Shoulders and Old Spice, each strikeout during the regular season brought a $1 donation to the Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) program.
"There's a lot of initiatives that baseball has brought on that are good for everybody," Wilson said. "Realistically, so many people watch baseball that anything that we do from a corporate standpoint, in that charitable sense, is going to have a huge audience. So we need to do everything we can to promote those kinds of things."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.