Moffitt Cancer Center Helps Rays Fans Strike Out Skin Cancer

May 22, 2014

TAMPA, Fla. Moffitt Cancer Center will join the Tampa Bay Rays as they take part in the American Academy of Dermatology’s (AAD) and Major League Baseball’s Play Sun Smart program to educate fans about skin cancer when the Rays take on the Seattle Mariners on June 8.

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. One in five Americans will develop the disease during their lifetime.

“As we head into summer, it’s important to remember that even small amounts of sun exposure can be damaging. If you are going to be out in the sun for any period of time, you need to wear the proper attire that provides sun protection and liberally apply broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher,”  explained Vernon Sondak, M.D., chair of the Department of Cutaneous Oncology.

June 8 marks the 16-year anniversary of Play Sun Smart — a partnership between the American Academy of Dermatology, Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association — to raise awareness about skin cancer and offer prevention and detection tips to players, staff and fans. As part of this effort, the Tampa Bay Rays and Moffitt’s Cutaneous Oncology Department are providing free skin cancer screenings to fans June 8.

The Mole Patrol®, a team of skin cancer specialists from Moffitt, will provide screenings to fans from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. outside of Gate 4 near the corner of 16th Street South and 4th Avenue South.During the 2014 spring training season, Moffitt’s Mole Patrol® screened 378 fans during four games across Florida. 

During the game, the Rays will recognize the Salute to Survivors fan of the game. The honor comes with a VIP experience that includes game tickets, parking passes, autographed memorabilia, on-field passes to watch batting practice from behind home plate before the game, and recognition on the video board between innings.

“The Play Sun Smart partnership between the AAD and MLB provides the Rays another opportunity to collaborate with Moffitt Cancer Center and deliver lifesaving work to our fans through Moffitt’s Mole Patrol®,” said Mark Fernandez, senior vice president for the Tampa Bay Rays. 

About Moffitt Cancer Center
Located in Tampa, Moffitt is one of only 41 National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers, a distinction that recognizes Moffitt’s excellence in research, its contributions to clinical trials, prevention and cancer control. Moffitt is the No. 1 cancer hospital in Florida and has been listed in U.S. News & World Report as one of “America’s Best Hospitals” for cancer since 1999. With more than 4,200 employees, Moffitt has an economic impact on the state of nearly $2 billion. For more information, visit, and follow the Moffitt momentum on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

About the Tampa Bay Rays
The Tampa Bay Rays have proudly represented Major League Baseball in the Tampa Bay region since 1998. The organization and its foundation are committed to building a strong community bond through meaningful interaction and charitable contributions.