America Supports You: Pitcher to Honor Troops at All-Star Game
American Forces Press Service
PITTSBURGH, Jul. 11, 2006 Oakland A's All-Star pitcher Barry Zito, founder of "Strikeouts for Troops," will donate $500 for each strikeout thrown during the Major League Baseball All-Star Game here this evening.
Strikeouts for Troops assists wounded troops by providing comforts of home during their recovery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, in Washington, D.C.; the National Naval Medical Center, in Bethesda, Md.; and other military hospitals.
Since the program's inception in April 2005, more than $190,000 has been raised through Zito's own contributions of $200 a strikeout and those of 35 players from the A's and other professional baseball teams, fundraising events, and fan donations. In addition to assistance provided to servicemembers and their families, contributions have funded holiday dinners at military hospitals, bought Christmas gifts for families of patients unable to afford them, and helped build a hospital children's center where kids can stay while their parents tend to medical needs.
"The All-Star Game is filled with festivities and showcases some of baseball's finest stars who are proud to represent their teams," Zito said. "I don't want this date to pass without recognizing our country's brave soldiers, sailors, airmen, guardsmen and Marines, who are America's true all-stars and who represent our country with honor while fighting for our freedom."
Other 2006 Major League Baseball All-Stars who are participating in Strikeouts for Troops are Alex Rodriguez, of the New York Yankees; Manny Ramirez, of the Boston Red Sox; and Jermaine Dye, of the Chicago White Sox.