ATLANTA -- Braves reliever David Carpenter was one of the many Major Leaguers who took time on Tuesday to support Cardinals reliever Jason Motte's Strike Out Cancer campaign. Having had the pleasure of knowing Motte for nearly a decade, Carpenter said this is a genuine initiative started by a man who has always had a very charitable heart.
"From just getting a chance to know what kind of person Jason is, this is just how he operates," Carpenter said. "He is a very proactive guy, especially with kids. That's one of his soft spots. To see something he started grow to all 30 teams is just great to see."
While recovering from Tommy John surgery during the 2013 season, Motte took advantage of the chance to spend time helping others. He designed T-shirts that are adorned with a backward K over top of the word 'Cancer.' A short time later, he decided to make 30 different T-shirts to represent the color of each team.
Craig Kimbrel, Carpenter and the rest of the Atlanta bullpen were among the Braves seen wearing the T-shirts before Tuesday night's game against the Phillies. At the same time, members of other Major League clubs also took time on Tuesday to recognize this endeavor in a similar manner.
When the Cardinals had Motte make the transition from catcher to pitcher in 2006, he was sent to Class A State College, where Carpenter was beginning his first professional season as a catcher. The two developed a friendship that was strengthened when Carpenter also made the transition from catcher to pitcher two years later.
"How he treated me and how he treats a lot of the people [with whom] he comes in contact, he's just one of the best in this game," Carpenter said. "It was great to see him use his down time to start something like this and bring the awareness that he has brought with the 'K Cancer' logo."
The website 108 Stitches went live on March 17, 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.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.