Nationals announce "MVP Dad" winner, Wayne Schlauch

Major League Baseball announced the winners of the 2011 "My Dad, My MVP" contest to recognize extraordinary fathers and father figures as part of the MLB Father's Day celebration. The Washington Nationals are proud to announce that Wayne Schlauch, of College Park, Md will be honored as their "MVP Dad." As the Nationals' winner, Wayne will have the unique opportunity to deliver the lineup card during Sunday's game against the Baltimore Orioles on Father's Day, June 19, 2011.

Wayne is a hard-working father of four, who has strived to instill a strong sense of integrity in his children. Even after he suffered a heart attack, he put the needs of his family before his own and quickly returned to work. As a baseball fan, Wayne has used Nationals games as a special opportunity to connect with his children and now his six grandchildren.

"We are pleased to honor Wayne Schlauch as our 'MVP Dad,'" said Israel Negron, Director of Community Relations for the Washington Nationals. "We invite all Nationals fans to join us in celebrating Wayne's dedication to his family and his love of baseball."

In addition to fan votes on MLB.com, a celebrity panel helped select the 30 "MVP Dad" winners. The list of judges includes country music stars Eddie Montgomery and Troy Gentry of the country duo Montgomery Gentry; MLB Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Joe Torre; Founder and Chairman of the Prostate Cancer Foundation Michael Milken; MLB players including New York Mets Left Fielder Jason Bay, Baltimore Orioles First Baseman Derrek Lee, Boston Red Sox Designated Hitter David Ortiz, Chicago White Sox Pitcher Jake Peavy, Chicago Cubs First Baseman Carlos Peña, Chicago White Sox Catcher A.J. Pierzynski, Oakland Athletics Catcher Kurt Suzuki, San Francisco Giants Closer Brian Wilson; and MLB Network Analyst Billy Ripken. The winning stories were selected based on the following: originality, quality of writing, demonstration of commitment to the role of father and public appeal.

Major League Baseball also supports the prostate cancer cause during Father's Day celebrations, specifically with the annual "Home Run Challenge" to support the Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF). Now in its 15th year, the initiative helps increase awareness and early detection of prostate cancer. Since its inception, this program has raised more than $36 million toward prostate cancer research. For each home run hit during 60 select MLB games from June 8 - June 19, including all games played on Father's Day, fans have had the opportunity to make monetary donations and pledges to the Prostate Cancer Foundation at www.homerunchallenge.org, or by making a $10 donation by texting HRC to 20222. Money raised through the "Home Run Challenge" goes directly to the Prostate Cancer Foundation to advance prostate cancer research. In 2010, more than $2.3 million was raised to fight prostate cancer through the PCF "Home Run Challenge".

Major League Baseball Charities has committed $50,000 to PCF as part of this program. Additionally, on-field personnel, including players, managers, coaches, trainers, umpires and groundskeepers will wear blue wristbands and blue ribbon uniform decals symbolizing prostate cancer awareness. The blue ribbon logo also will appear on the official dugout lineup cards, which will be blue. In an effort to emphasize the impact of the disease, all Major League Baseball games played on Sunday, June 19, will feature messages giving valuable health information about prostate cancer.