By Barry Janoff
September 4, 2012: Steve Carell, Colin Hanks and Ken Jeong are best known for their work on-screen. But the trio of actors move into the sports world in a new campaign for Stand Up To Cancer, "Baseball Believes," which will bring Major League Baseball and SU2C's united message regarding cancer awareness to fans during the playoffs and World Series.
Six spots in the campaign, which were all filmed at Boston's Fenway Park, highlight iconic plays from MLB post-season history, with the actors recalling them in jubilant fashion and humorously recreating the events. Actual footage and play-by-play from the games are interspersed throughout.
The intended purpose is to "connect believing in miracles on the playing field with a shared vision of ending cancer," according to MLB and SU2C. Each spot ends with a call to action that encourages fans to join MLB and SU2C in raising awareness and funds "to end cancer forever."
MLB, a founding donor of Stand Up To Cancer in 2008, said that together with its 30 clubs, it has committed more than $30 million to the initiative to date.
The spots will break early this month in stadiums and on MLB Network, Fox and ESPN. They will then continue to air through the 2013 baseball season.
Last season, SU2C spots featured current and/or former MLB players Andy Pettitte, John Kruk, Mitch Williams and Ron Darling.
The classic plays highlighted in the campaign include Carlton Fisk of the Boston Red Sox "waving" his Game 6-winning 12th inning home run fair in the 1975 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds; New York Giants center fielder Willie Mays' over-the-shoulder catch on a ball hit by Vic Wertz of the Cleveland Indians in Game 1 of the 1954 World Series; New York Yankees Derek Jeter's backhand toss to catcher Jorge Posada in Game 3 of the 2001 American League Division Series to tag out Jeremy Giambi; and Los Angeles Dodgers Kirk Gibson, out of the starting line-up due to a pulled hamstring and a swollen knee, coming off the bench to hit a walk-off home run against Dennis Eckersley and the Oakland A's in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series.
"[Los Angeles is] down 4-3 in the ninth," begins Carell's story of Gibson's moment. "He limps to the plate," continues Jeong. "And Boom!" Then Carell yells, "She is gone!" as we see him recreate Gibson's home run limp and fist-pump around the bases as footage of Gibson from the actual game is also shown. The retelling of the three other iconic moments follows similar fashion. (See the first spot in the campaign here.)
According to MLB commissioner Bud Selig, "This campaign is a part of Major League Baseball's unwavering efforts to support and help empower Stand Up To Cancer in its noble work fighting all forms of cancer through the spirit of collaboration.
"We are proud that the most memorable and improbable moments in postseason history can be used as a way to inspire people to believe that anything is possible, including an end to cancer," Selig stressed.
"Under the steadfast leadership and dedication of commissioner Bud Selig and all 30 teams, MLB's financial support of SU2C has been vitally important to the success of our mission," SU2C co-founder Rusty Robertson said in a statement. "Equally important is what MLB has done to help build our grassroots movement by encouraging baseball fans everywhere to support our researchers, who work tirelessly to develop new therapies for patients to save lives now."
MLB Hits Cancer Hard With Stand Up To Cancer Effort
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