LOS ANGELES -- Catcher A.J. Ellis is the Dodgers representative for Cardinals pitcher Jason Motte's fundraising effort.
"It's to raise awareness and fuel cancer research," Ellis said. "He started it last year in St. Louis and decided, let's do every team. Now $5 for every shirt goes to Jason's charity and $5 to each of ours. I will have my charity chosen by Opening Day. It's a great idea to help fight the plague of cancer. I'm honored Jason reached out. When he was a catcher in the Florida State League, we bonded as two defensive catchers that couldn't hit. He transitioned into an All-Star closer."
The website 108stitches.com went live on March 17, with 108 Stitches showcasing the "Strike Out Cancer" tees in each team's colors. Each is promoted by a different player who agreed to join Motte in a partnership that will benefit multiple charities. Each participating player has chosen a charity that will benefit from the T-shirts sales, and for each shirt sold, $5 will go to the Jason Motte Foundation and $5 to a charity of that player's choice. A full list of recipient charities will be listed on the 108 Stitches website soon, along with a photo of each player rep in his team-colored shirt.
"At the end of the day, it's about reaching people," Motte said. "Baseball is great and everything, but there are other really important things going on out there that affect a lot of people. Wearing these T-shirts shows people that they're not alone. They're not sitting there doing chemo by themselves where no one cares. People do care, whether it's friends, family or baseball players. There are people who this has touched and this has affected. This is something we're trying to do to get the word out there and try to raise money to help."
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.