Major-league baseball players join fight against cancer

Right-hander Jeremy Guthrie spent part of Monday afternoon distributing T-shirts to teammates in the Royals clubhouse.

They were blue with a large backward K on it, which signifies a called strikeout on a scoresheet.

On Tuesday, players around major-league baseball take part in “Strikeout Cancer” day. According to a news release, that is a player-led initiative to raise awareness and funds for cancer-related charities across the United States.

It is the brainchild of Cardinals relief pitcher Jason Motte. Each team is supporting a cancer-based charitable organization, selected at the suggestion of one player.

The Royals’ player representative is, or was, left-hander Bruce Chen. Chen, who was designated for assignment Friday, chose Friends of Kids With Cancer.

The idea behind the T-shirts is that players who wear them in view of others will bring attention and raise money to one day wiping out the vile disease.

Proceeds from every K Cancer T-shirt sold are split between the Jason Motte Foundation and the charity selected by the Player representative.

Fans can support this initiative by purchasing K Cancer shirts at www.108stitches.com.

“I’m honored by the support my fellow major leaguers have displayed in joining the Jason Motte Foundation’s effort to strikeout cancer,” Motte said in a news release. “What started out as a ripple of awareness in St. Louis a year ago has turned into a tidal wave of international support to help eradicate this horrible disease. I want to thank the Players for standing together in support of this initiative, as well as 108 Stitches and fans everywhere for doing their best to help strikeout cancer.”

To reach Pete Grathoff, call 816-234-4330 or send email to pgrathoff@kcstar.com.