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Curts Pitch 4 ALS GOES GLOBAL!

March 22, 2008

I had the privelage of meeting ALS patients and their families at the Tokyo Dome this morning prior to the exhibition game. There are 8,000 known ALS patients living in Japan. I would guess that there are 75% of that number living here undiagnosed as well.

The chapter has been here since 1986 and works in relative obscurity, which is unfortunate. We’re going to see if we can’t change that in 2008.

Curts Pitch 4 ALS is a program started 17 years ago. Basically Shonda and I donate $100 dollars per strikeout, and $1000 per win to the local ALS Chapter(s). What started as a program to benefit the Philadelphia ALS chapter run by our extraordinary friend and tireless advocate Ellyn Phyllips has now grown to encompass the Arizona and Boston Chapters of ALS.

The 2008 season, forgive the pun, of Curts Pitch has been thrown a curve. My shoulder problems are going to prevent me from pitching for quite a bit of the first half of the season. We were trying to find a way to insure that the local chapters don’t suffer because of this, and continue to raise money and awareness at the same time.

What I decided is this. Shonda and I will make donations to each of the chapters based on statistics of one of the local pitchers, you can see who I picked on the right. I have not spoken to any of these guys so they are probably not aware of this just yet. If they get involved great, but I would imagine they are likely already committted to charities of their own. No matter! We will donate to their chapters, and in 2008 we are adding the Japanese Chapter of ALS to the mix and will be donating to them based on Daisukes stats for the upcoming season!

In the very near future I will provide a link to a page that will allow fans of these players/teams to sign up for Curts Pitch to benefit the Chapter of their choice. I am hopeful that we can generate a massive amount of awareness for ALS in Japan as well, as I was told today none of the Japanese players is involved with ALS, and the ties are just too strong between the game and the disease to not try and make that happen.

In the meantime, anyone wishing to contribute or get involved with the Japanese ALS chapter please check out

67 Comments leave one →
  1. April 2, 2008 8:50 am

    Once again you have gone above and beyond for the people in these communities. You are a class act and are a role model for all.

    I am so happy you decided to finish your career in Boston. Thank you for all you have done and continue to do.

    I hope you don’t let idiots like that willywonka guy who posted earlier in this discussion discourage you. I can assure you he is in the extreme minority. Idiots like that are a waste of perfectly good air.

  2. mannysps2 permalink
    April 2, 2008 12:46 pm

    I just wanted to say that a few years ago I called out “G38″ when you were tossing warmups in the BP in Chicago and you looked up, winked and tipped your cap. This was a day you pitched (I’m sure you won, because the Red Sox swept that series)…

  3. April 2, 2008 5:19 pm

    you sure can attract the maggots of the world. I think you are doing a good job for charities and baseball.
    good luck on your rehab.

  4. humano53 permalink
    April 2, 2008 7:23 pm

    I don’t know any other was to contact you and I’d like to know how to request help from the Shade Foundation.

    I just read a story of a 7 month old boy in Puerto Rico (El Nuevo Dia Newspaper) who suffers from a rare skin disease.

    Jadahi Hommy Galíndez suffers from a rare skin condition that keeps him constantly at risk. Epidermolysis bullosa, dominant dystrophic is a rare disease that causes blisters all over the body. When the blisters burst the skin goes with it. The baby is being treated as a burn victim. The health plans DO NOT cover this genetic condition…parents spend $2K a month. The raw skin must be protected by bandages as infection could happen and he would then have an 80% chance of dying.

    If you think the foundation can help I’d be happy to provide you with a full translation of the article. I do not know these people but I think I know a little bit of you. I’ve felt your heart and compassion. As I read about this poor child you were the only person that came to mind. I don’t have a lot of money but I think this note to you might help them as well.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this.

    BTW. I do hope you heal in time for the All Star break. We are all behind you!

    El pequeño de siete meses padece de epidermólisis bullosa distrófica dominante, una rara condición que le provoca bolsas de agua en su cuerpo y que al vaciarse le dejan la piel en carne viva.

  5. amy4kids permalink
    April 2, 2008 10:21 pm

    Hi, Curt!

    This is my very first post here, although I have been a frequent reader since 38pitches. was born! I hope we get a new “blog entry” from you soon, with your always insightful thoughts, on the back-to-back wins in Oakland. Dice-K looked fabulous! What a great outing for him. I was very pleased, indeed. Just wanted to say this is a very special connection that you have with us, your dedicated fans. The selfless work you do, both you and Shonda, for ALS is absolutely incredible. I know firsthand how busy life can get with four kids…we have 3 boys and a girl as well. God bless you and your family, Curt. Hope your rehab/recovery process, albeit a slow one, I’m sure, is moving along well. GO BOSOX!

  6. thedoctorx permalink
    April 3, 2008 1:01 am

    I think we have determined that wonkawillie77 is Jose Canseco . . . and neet76 is his latest leech. Apparently she has never actually read your blog, else she would realize people who have written far worse get posted. The desire to “PWN” a celebrity must burn within them.

    Nevertheless, kudos for your work in raising awareness of and $$$ for ALS. Far more good than either of those idiots have ever done.


  7. enderandrew permalink
    April 3, 2008 9:10 am

    While everyone is busy accusing you of being greedy and selfish, in reality you took a pay cut this year, and you’re concerned that local ALS chapters won’t be getting money if you’re not pitching. I recall an SI interview you did some years back (I think it was SI) when you said that personally you thought it was pretty crazy that you made $10 million a year (at that time) where as your kid’s teacher made $25k a year. I don’t believe for a moment that it was ever really about the money for you, and I think your true character does show.

    I’ve been a BoSox fan since I was 6 years old. For my 30th birthday in a few weeks, my wife bought us plain tickets to Boston and got us seats for Yankees-Sox. We’ve seen the Sox play in places like Anaheim and KC (we went down to see your first game back from injury in KC because we’re both big fans of yours) but we’ve never been to Fenway. A big reason we root for the Sox has nothing to do with geography, but rather because of the character of the organization as opposed to other ball clubs.

    I almost feel bad asking (especially in this thread) but it just came up in conversation the other day. My wife and I were talking about the upcoming trip with her buddies in the College Republicans meeting, and in turns out several of them are also big fans. They’re currently doing fundraisers for the various chapters here in Nebraska. Is there any chance you might be able to donate perhaps an autographed ball or something we could auction for the Nebraska College Republicans? Specifically my wife is in the UNO chapter. If you’d be willing, you can email me at

    And lastly (sorry this is such a long post) I’d love to see you help this team win another ring, and you’re such a dominant post-season pitcher that I believe you really can, but at the same time your health for the rest of your life is important. You already pulled some heroics once with your ankle. Make sure you do take care of yourself this time around.


  8. brendinater permalink
    April 3, 2008 11:08 am

    Neet – just curious but if you had it worked into your contract that you would earn a certain amount of money if you reached and achieved certain goals, would you then refuse this money if you felt you did not deserve it? Would you (or, even better, have you ever) refused money from an employer?

  9. pilatesgirl permalink
    April 3, 2008 3:00 pm

    Keep it up Curt.

    As for comment 14 neet76, you are wasting your time trying to get this ball players attention. Not only do you post a negative comment where it clearly doesn’t belong, you tag on your e mail address and a bad picture of yourself to boot. Good thing Curt’s beautiful and witty wife has a sense of HUMOR!

  10. tahoesoxfan permalink
    April 3, 2008 8:14 pm

    Hey Curt, you dont sneak into the stands ar RedSox games do you ? Check out this guy next to me at the A’s game Thursday.


  11. syphax permalink
    April 4, 2008 2:22 pm

    Off topic:

    Hats off to you, Curt, for taking it to D&C re: the Obama/Wright thing.

    Especially after their whole “gorilla” incident in 2003.

  12. curtfansincephilly permalink
    April 4, 2008 2:46 pm

    Hey Curt, I have wanted to get in touch with you for a long time; actually since you made that (now legendary) Ford commercial where you were “hitchhiking to New England to break an 86-year old curse.”

    I heard Shonda speak about SHADE at Stonehill this week. She’s amazing and she did a great job of communicating with the students and impressing upon them the importance of sun protection. I was standing at the back of the room and watched as the students were riveted by what Shonda was telling them. That’s not an easy thing to accomplish with kids these days and she will probably save lives by sharing her own story.

    I just wanted to tell you about your biggest long-time fan (for most of his life) here in NE. It’s my son Tom who is 23 and special needs (he has a form of autism) and has been following you since 1992 in your Philly days (even though we live in Mansfield, MA) His aunt in Philly made him a fan of yours (and of another great player, Darren Daulton) when Tom was only about 9 years old. His room is more a shrine to the Phillies than the Sox and we still go to Philly to take in games every other summer. He even decided to try community college when he read that you had done that. It took him 4 years instead of two but he did it and graduated last year. When you won the Series with the D-backs I had to go on E-Bay (my first and only purchase) to get him a D-Backs World Series cap for his Christmas present because of course there were none available around here in Sox country. He was even at the Sox game when the D-Backs were here and you pitched against Pedro. Tom had his Schilling shirt on and I think he was the only one cheering you on!!

    Tom was SO excited when you came to Boston and was confident that you would help us finally win the world series in our lifetime (his dad and I are life-long Sox fans and Tom could see the agony we were going through year after year). Tom assured us that “Curt will do it for us!” and you did, in such a heroic fashion. Tom was right, as he often is :)

    Anyway, as I told Shonda from the audience the other day, I want to thank both of you for contributing SO much to our area and for sharing yourselves unselfishly with so many people. You have brought a tremendous amount of joy to many Sox fans and to ALS patients and have made a huge impression on one special kid in OUR lives. You really brought excitement back to our beloved Sox :) We look forward to seeing you play again!

    Thanks for everything and keep up the great work you do!

  13. dphillis permalink
    April 4, 2008 10:52 pm

    Dear Mr. Shilling
    Dr. Raikin just repaired my dislocated brevis and longus peroneals, and compared my injury to yours as very similar. i skiied all winter, ran 2 mi day when raining, and never felt pain if I controlled the movement; but any lateral movement of the heel brought the tendons dislocating over the ankle. Dr. Raikin said they would eventually fray.

    Plese tell me about your recovery. I’m in the boot 4 wks after, it’s great to shower, but I can only do upper body, crunches, push-ups sit-ups, leg raises, barbells. It is hard not to be able to walk.

    I’m a 61 year old woman, but active. Please tell me about your training to get your groove back! I’ve never blogged, but here is my e-mail: (or tell me how to get your answer on your blog or how you do it)

  14. alsbenefit permalink
    April 28, 2008 11:37 pm

    Hi Curt –

    We have a friend who has advancing stages of ALS and we know this is a charity near to your heart and the hearts of the Phillies organization.

    Would you be able to point us to the right people to arrange a personal appearance by you or possibly one of the Phillies for a community benefit on Sunday, June 29th, 2008? The event will be held in Bucks County, near Philly.

    Any help you may have for us would be greatly appreciated! Please email a response to

    Marty Wolfe

  15. billsch permalink
    June 2, 2008 8:02 am

    Hi Curt and fellow fans,
    The work Curt and Shonda do for ALS is truly admirable. Keep it up! Hope to see you back in the second half Curt.
    Close to home here in Sudbury, MA, my daughter’s classmate’s Mom’s story is an example of hope, but also of how difficult the battle against ALS is. Anyone who can help locally, please see
    Here is Ellens’ personal plea:
    Dear Friends,
    > The good news is that between my diaphragm pacer, supplement cocktail,
    > luck and a strong desire to live, I am every bit as healthy as I was a
    > year ago. This is actually quite miraculous for someone with ALS. I am
    > able to continue to play an active role in the every day lives of my
    > children. Through the wonders of technology, I can help with homework,
    > keep track of their schedules, and most of all, be there to hear about
    > their day.
    > The bad news is that the price we have paid to allow me to live is exorbitant.
    > My
    > life is literally bankrupting our family. Put yourself in my shoes for a minute.
    > How would you feel if you were fighting for your life, all the while
    > knowing that your family would lose everything as a result? Not real
    > motivating is it?
    > Many of you are familiar with our struggle, but John and I have tried
    > to put a positive spin on our situation. Despite outward appearances,
    > we are drowning. Four years of battling this brutal disease have taken
    > their toll. My care is physically demanding, emotionally trying, and
    > financially draining. Even with expensive hourly help, John bears the
    > brunt of this burden along with household management and childcare,
    > which severely affects his ability to earn a living. He can’t get to
    > the office when he’s helping at home and so he works late into the
    > night to make up the time. He is suffering from caregiver burn out
    > which is very common in these situations. There is no easy way to care
    > for an ALS patient and there is a shortage of competent healthcare
    > workers capable of handling such a complex and rare disease.
    > These circumstances have again led to the foreclosure of our home.
    > There is no way that I can move; we have invested tens of thousands of
    > dollars to make our home handicap and technology accessible. If we
    > lose the house, there will be no place for me to go except an
    > institution where they will undoubtedly take away what’s left of the
    > quality of my life. So you see why I have to ask for help.
    > Our situation is not unique. The cost of ALS care at later stages is
    > upwards of $200,000 per year. Most families caring for an ALS patient
    > are financially destroyed or emotionally torn apart, sometimes both.
    > We are a strong family but we need help.
    > The need to fund my care is on going. To this end, we are kicking off
    > the first annual Ellen’s Angels fundraising campaign, and we are again
    > asking for your much needed support.
    > Our goal is to have 200 people donate $1,000 dollars or captain a team
    > and collect 10 $100 donations. We need to reach as many people as
    > possible to make this happen.
    > Please forward this e-mail to family, friends, businesses and anyone
    > who can help a family in crisis. All money raised will go directly to
    > help Ellen and the Sutherland family. If anyone has contacts/personal
    > connections with any pharmacies, grocery stores, or any other
    > businesses/companies that would make donations in supplies or larger
    > corporate donations, please contact them as well.
    > Words cannot express our gratitude. Your generosity is literally
    > saving our family from devastation.
    > The Sutherlands
    > Visit

  16. lucky23davis permalink
    June 21, 2008 12:01 am

    Hey Curt!

    My name is Lucas and I think what you do with ALS is amazing. I have personal experience with the ALS disease. In 2003 my father was diagnosed with ALS. At the time I was entering the 6th grade, and like parents didn’t know much about the disease. As the years went by my dad got worse and worse. It got to a point where he was in a wheelchair and was only able to move his left hand and his head. Unfortunately my dad died this January of ALS. My dad was great, he never once missed one of my baseball games no matter how far away they were he was always there. Ill never forget the first game of the season this year on my high school baseball team. I looked into the stands and my Dad wasn’t there. I don’t mean to make this a sad note but doctors told me that I might be next. As you might know ALS is very uncommon to be passed down, but not only did my dad die of ALS but so did my grandfather. If you get this note I just wanted to say thank you. OBTW I hope you return from your injury I hope this isn’t the end.

    Good luck and God Bless you.

  17. John permalink
    July 28, 2009 2:21 am

    Hi Curt, I want to than you for all that you do for ALS.. I have a brother with ALS and his time is very short. What you do is very meaningful. Keep up the good work!

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