Davis heads cancer detection effort

Awareness day tomorrow here and at 10 other parks


May 25, 2000|By Sam Borden | Sam Borden,SUN STAFF

Exactly when Eric Davis' baseball career will end is unknown - "I'll retire when I'm ready. If I wake up tomorrow and want to do it, that will be it," the St. Louis Cardinals right fielder says - but what is certain is the former Oriole's dedication to spreading the word about the perilous disease he battled and beat.

Tomorrow at Camden Yards, while the Orioles play the Oakland Athletics, the Johns Hopkins Oncology Center will distribute materials, answer questions and show public service announcements about the screening and early detection of colon cancer. The event is part of The Eric Davis Foundation's "Score for Screening 2000," and will take place at 11 other major-league ballparks across the country.

Although Davis will be in St.Louis, the game in Baltimore has special meaning for him. Davis played two seasons for the Orioles (1997-98) and received treatment at the Hopkins facility in Green Spring Station after his condition was diagnosed in June 1997.

"I have a lot of unbelievable memories of my time in Baltimore," he said, "but of course some of the toughest times were there, too. Still, my doctors at Hopkins were outstanding. Once I got through my own battle, I realized that I could help spread awareness."

Although Davis would not say whether he will continue to play after this season, he made it clear that his baseball life has nothing to do with his efforts to make people aware of the importance of early detection.

"Whether or not I'm playing, I'll be a part of the foundation - I'm the president!" he said. "But seriously, the most important thing is how many people we can touch. I am a part of the cancer fraternity, and I always will be. Getting the word out and helping people, I never get tired of that part."

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