Advertisement

 SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -For three seasons, Barry Zito has been doing his part to help the American military.
He founded ``Strikeouts for Troops'' in 2005 to offer financial assistance to wounded service men and women and their families - and every major league pitcher taking the mound Tuesday got involved on the sixth anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Zito's charity will receive $400 for every strikeout from the military financial service company USAA. Padres ace Jake Peavy even called Zito's publicist, Kathy Jacobson, to let her know he would do his best to fan a lot of Los Angeles Dodgers.
``We're in the third season now and it has picked up slowly, and it's just been great,'' Zito said before his San Francisco Giants played Arizona. ``To have a corporate partnership is great. They stepped up. They like they cause. There's no better day than Patriot Day today.''
Zito, who wasn't pitching Tuesday, met with USAA officials in Chicago during the team's trip there to face the Cubs in July.
Flags were flown at half-staff in the Giants' waterfront ballpark, where powerful pictures of the tragedy were shown on the main center-field scoreboard with the message ``9.11.01 We Will Never Forget.''
Outside the stadium, a Sept. 11 tribute was set up in front of a statue of Hall of Famer Willie Mays. It featured red, white and blue banners with thousands of names of the victims.
Zito gives $400 for each of his strikeouts - 121 so far this year, his first with the Giants after signing a pitcher's record $126 million, seven-year deal last winter. Other major leaguers also have agreed to donate money for certain statistics they reach this season.
About 120 players are currently taking part. St. Louis reliever Russ Springer signed up 11 of his Cardinals teammates this season.
``You never know where things are going,'' Zito said. ``It's like pitching: You go out and hope for the best. Russ Springer was huge and spread the word. Eventually one day we hope to have one player from every team.''
Before a spring exhibition game in San Francisco, Zito was recognized for his efforts when military members presented him with an American flag that flew in Iraq.

Top MLB Public Bets

MLB Top Stories

Thumbnail Yankees aspire to steal one from Blue Jays Mired in an eight-game losing streak at Rogers Centre, do the Yankees have enough wherewithal to salvage their series finale vs....
Thumbnail Pirates in desperation mode against Cubs Having reached the 99-win plateau for the first time since 1935, will the Cubs hit the century mark tonight?
Thumbnail Tigers vs. Indians Pick The Cleveland Indians look to lock up the AL Central title on the road when they face the Detroit Tigers today at...
Thumbnail Cards, Cubs ready for last regular-season bout   In arguably their most important contest of the season, it’s only fitting that the Cardinals turn to the man who’s fast becoming the team’s new ace.
Thumbnail Padres attempt to upset Giants again Ty Blach had a banner season with Class AAA Sacramento. His reward: replacing, if only temporarily 17-game winner Johnny Cueto in the...
More inMLB Articles  

MLB Team Pages