Founded by Oakland A’s relief pitcher Craig Breslow in 2008, the Strike 3 Foundation was created to help in the fight against pediatric cancer. Motivated by seeing his sister’s battle with thyroid cancer when he was 14, Craig founded the Strike 3 Foundation to help other children in their fight against cancer.
The Strike 3 Foundation statement reads as follows: “The Strike 3 Foundation heightens awareness, mobilizes support, and raises funding for childhood cancer research.” Craig works tirelessly on the foundation, even staying awake until 3AM answering emails after games (Greenberg, 2011). I can confirm his work on the foundation personally, as I received a direct message from Craig after I started following him on Twitter this past New Year’s Eve promoting his work with the Strike 3 Foundation and their Facebook page.
Over the three years the foundation has been active, Craig has raised over $600,000 for cancer research. Recently, Craig, along with teammates Gio Gonzalez, Brad Ziegler, Hideki Matsui, Grant Balfour, Andrew Bailey, Brian Fuentes and Kurt Suzuki teamed up with New York Yankees reliever David Robertson to host the second annual NYY Steak Luncheon. This unique luncheon raised over $30,000 for cancer research. In an interview with Jay Greenberg of MLB.com, Breslow said about the luncheon, “It’s a unique event dining with someone who in a couple hours you are going to be opposing on the field. The Yankees got in late last night from Tampa, I thank David for coming.”
Every offseason, Craig hosts the foundation’s annual First Pitch Gala. This year’s gala will be the fourth annual event held in Stamford, Connecticut. Last year’s event raised over $210,000, and the Strike 3 Foundation became one of the founding sponsors of the Yale New Haven Children’s Hospital’s bone marrow transplant program, donating $100,000 to the cause.
Other major league players have been helpful in the cause, including teammates and players on other teams. Bullpen mate Andrew Bailey is the Director of Development, and Cameron Maybin of the San Diego Padres has just been named to the Board of Directors as the Associate Director of Player Outreach.
While I have not been personally involved with the Strike 3 Foundation, I have been touched by pediatric cancer, as my niece has been battling cancer for a number of years. Her radiation treatments are close to being over, and the battle has been a long struggle for everyone in the family to handle. It is great to see charities such as the Strike 3 Foundation helping out in this battle to defeat pediatric cancer, and is a very worthwhile cause. It is for his outstanding work in his foundation that The Good In Sports recognizes Oakland A’s reliever Craig Breslow as a Gold Star Athlete, and recognize that while he isn’t a major star in the sport of baseball, Craig is a major star in the community and is a player everyone should look up to.