2011 Winners Selected by Celebrity Panel and Fan Voting on MLB.com

Major League Baseball announced the winners of the 2011 “My Dad, My MVP” contest, a campaign that gives fans a special opportunity to celebrate the father figures in their lives. The winner of the contest for the Los Angeles Dodgers is Dale Kerns of Hesperia. Kerns is currently undergoing treatment for kidney cancer and was nominated for this award by his daughter Kristy. Kerns and his wife Rita are lifelong Dodger fans and had their first date at Dodger Stadium.

Kerns will be recognized on the field during pre-game ceremonies at Dodger Stadium on Father’s Day, this Sunday, June 19. His family, including five grandchildren, two children and wife, will join him on the field for this special experience and then take the field with the Dodgers as the game begins. Kerns will also announce “It’s time for Dodger baseball!” at the start of the game.

The “My Dad, My MVP” contest was introduced in 2011 to recognize extraordinary fathers and father figures as part of the MLB Father’s Day celebration. More than 3,200 stories were submitted online in this inaugural campaign. One winner for each of the 30 MLB Clubs was selected by a celebrity panel of judges and nearly 270,000 fan votes on MLB.com/mvpdad.

In addition to fan votes on MLB.com, a celebrity panel helped select the 30 “MVP Dad” winners. The list of judges includes country music stars Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry of the country duo Montgomery Gentry; MLB Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Joe Torre; Founder and Chairman of the Prostate Cancer Foundation Michael Milken; MLB players including New York Mets Left Fielder Jason Bay, Baltimore Orioles First Baseman Derrek Lee, Boston Red Sox Designated Hitter David Ortiz, Chicago White Sox Pitcher Jake Peavy, Chicago Cubs First Baseman Carlos Peña, Chicago White Sox Catcher A.J. Pierzynski, Oakland Athletics Catcher Kurt Suzuki, San Francisco Giants Closer Brian Wilson; and MLB Network Analyst Billy Ripken. The winning stories were selected based on the following: originality, quality of writing, demonstration of commitment to the role of father and public appeal.

Major League Baseball also supports the prostate cancer cause during Father’s Day celebrations, specifically with the annual “Home Run Challenge” to support the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF). The initiative, which will culminate on Father’s Day, Sunday, June 19, and is now in its 15th year, helps increase awareness and early detection of prostate cancer. Since its inception, this initiative has raised more than $36 million toward prostate cancer research. For each home run hit during 60 select MLB games from June 8 – June 19, including all games played on Father’s Day, fans have had the opportunity to make monetary donations and pledges to the Prostate Cancer Foundation at www.homerunchallenge.org, or by making a $10 donation by texting HRC to 20222. Money raised through the “Home Run Challenge” goes directly to the Prostate Cancer Foundation to advance prostate cancer research. In 2010, more than $2.3 million was raised to fight prostate cancer through the PCF “Home Run Challenge”.

Major League Baseball Charities has committed $50,000 to PCF as part of this program. Additionally, on-field personnel, including players, managers, coaches, trainers, umpires and groundskeepers will wear blue wristbands and blue ribbon uniform decals symbolizing prostate cancer awareness. The blue ribbon logo also will appear on the official dugout lineup cards, which will be blue. In an effort to emphasize the impact of the disease, all Major League Baseball games played on Sunday, June 19, will feature messages giving valuable health information about prostate cancer.

Major League Baseball Health Initiatives

The Prostate Cancer Foundation “Home Run Challenge” is one of several cancer-related initiatives supported by Major League Baseball. Other initiatives include Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), whose mission is to support the groundbreaking scientific research aimed at getting new cancer treatments to patients in an accelerated timeframe; “Going To Bat Against Breast Cancer” Mother’s Day program dedicated to raising awareness and support for breast cancer research, in partnership with Susan G. Komen for the Cure; and Play Sun Smart, a league-wide, skin cancer awareness program in conjunction with the Major League Baseball Players Association and the American Academy of Dermatology.

About The Prostate Cancer Foundation

The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) is the world’s largest philanthropic source of support for accelerating the world’s most promising research for discovering better treatments and cures for prostate cancer. Founded in 1993, the PCF has raised nearly $500 million and provided funding to more than 1,500 researchers at nearly 200 institutions worldwide. PCF advocates for greater awareness of prostate cancer and more efficient investment of governmental research funds for transformational cancer research. Its efforts have helped produce a 20-fold increase in government funding for prostate cancer. More information about the PCF can be found at www.pcf.org.

The Los Angeles Dodgers, pioneers in sport and world culture, have won more games, more pennants, and more World Series than any other club in the National League since moving to Los Angeles.  Since the start of the modern era in baseball, the Dodgers of Brooklyn and Los Angeles, combined, have a cumulative attendance of more than 188 million, the highest total in the history of baseball or any other sport.

Visit the Dodgers on the Internet at www.dodgers.com.

For media information, visit www.dodgerspressbox.com.


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