Since 1999, the American Academy of Dermatology (Academy), Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) have partnered on the Play Sun Smart™ program, a public service partnership to raise awareness about the importance of sun safety and skin cancer prevention.
Each year, chances are good that skin cancer will affect members of the baseball community, whether directly or indirectly through a family member or friend. Whether cheering from the stands or preparing to swing the bat, it is vital to know the facts and take protective measures.
"As a melanoma survivor, this cause is especially close to me, and I am proud that we continue to work with the American Academy of Dermatology to educate as many people as possible about skin cancer prevention and detection."
– MLB commissioner, Bud Selig
In addition to promoting the sun-safety message, the program provides skin cancer screenings for all 30 MLB clubs – screening players, coaches, on-field staff and front office personnel. Since the program inception, nearly 34,000 screenings have been conducted and over 1,100 suspicious lesions were detected, including 137 melanomas - the most deadliest form of skin cancer. With skin cancer rates on the rise, the need to educate the public about the importance of sun safety has never been greater.
The Play Sun Smart™ program launches the first weekend in June every year with MLB clubs; however it is a year-round initiative.