Pittsburgh Pirates players team up with Allegheny Health Network to stage a record-breaking game of catch to raise awareness for prostate cancer.
What would you do for the chance to play catch with Francisco Cervelli or Jameson Taillon? Turns out, it doesn’t require much – just a few minutes of your time – and it just might get you in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Tomorrow, beginning at 9 a.m. Allegheny Health Network, in conjunction with the Pirates, is taking a stab at making the Guinness Book of World Records with the largest game of catch. The free event is part of their Catch for Cancer promotion, which is geared toward encouraging men to get screened for prostate cancer, the third-largest cause of cancer death among men.
It will take over 2,000 participants in the game to break the record, said Stephanie Waite, public relations representative for Allegheny Health Network. In order to take part in the game, interested people must register with AHN (this step is necessary in order for Guinness officials to verify the number taking part) and then show up at the event with a baseball glove.
Two lucky registrants will get to play catch with Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli and pitcher Jameson Taillon. They will be selected at random from among all of the people who register for the event. In addition to the chance to play catch with some big leaguers, all participants will receive a commemorative baseball, a buy-one-get-one-free voucher for Pirates tickets for the remaining home games Sept. 23-27, the opportunity to win autographed items from Harrison, Cervelli, and Taillon (for ages 18 and over) and free parking in Gold Lot 1.
Emphasis on Early Detection
Taillon is no stranger to men’s cancer, earlier this season, he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. He underwent surgery at Allegheny General Hospital, and due to the early stage at which they caught the disease, did not require additional treatment like chemotherapy or radiation.
“We’re delighted that [Taillon] is going to be there,” Waite said. “He makes a good spokesperson because understands the importance of early screening.”
Pirates infielder Josh Harrison will also be at the event, but won’t be participating in the game of catch due to his injured hand.
The actual game of catch is slated to take place at 11 a.m., but there will be a party going on along West General Robinson Street outside of PNC Park from 9 a.m. to noon. In addition to the main event, there will be Pirates trivia games, prizes, food trucks a DJ and plenty of fun to be had.
While the folks at Allegheny Health Network are very hopeful their event gets Pittsburgh in the Guinness Book of World Records, its most important that people coming to the event learn a little more about prostate cancer and perhaps be moved to get screened for the disease.
“We encourage everyone to come down to the ballpark Saturday,” Waite said. “It’s going to be a great morning for a good cause.”
Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Ill. Currently holds the record for largest game of catch. Established on Father’s Day in 2017, according to the Chicago Tribune, they had 972 pairs of fathers and sons participate. Prior to that, the record was set my MLB and Cincinnati Reds fans when 529 pairs participated in a game of catch during the 2015 All Star Game festivities.
For More Information
To learn more about the Catch for Cancer event, check out the press release by AHN.
To learn more about Jameson Taillon’s cancer diagnosis and surgery, check out this in-depth story about his experience by ESPN’s Tim Keown.