Andy Milovich is going to take one for the team in a humorous attempt to bring attention to a serious matter.
Milovich, general manager for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans minor league baseball team, will undergo a prostate exam today during the Pelicans’ game against the Frederick Keys in Myrtle Beach, S.C. The exam, which will be conducted by a licensed physician, will be performed in the radio booth at BB&T Coastal Field during the seventh inning stretch.
Don’t worry, only Milovich’s head and shoulders will visible to the crowd.
Oh and one more thing — Milovich plans to sing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” during the examination.
“I imagine it might be in more of a falsetto,” Milovich said with a laugh when reached Tuesday.
Milovich, former general manager for the West Virginia Power, took a job in 2012 as the general manager for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans, farm team for the Texas Rangers. He was challenged last week by the front office staff to get a prostate exam during today’s game. He said it started as a joke during a radio show.
The team runs various promotions during the season. Some are for fun but others have a serious message, like the “Strike Out Cancer” series that focuses on different types of cancer including esophageal cancer, breast cancer, testicular and prostate cancer and others.
Both Milovich’s family and the Pelican organization had been touched by different forms of cancer in recent months, he said.
Tonight is Prostate Cancer Awareness Night at BB&T Coastal Field. The first 1,000 men over 18 years old to enter the park will receive a foam finger with a blue reminder ribbon.
“We wanted to raise awareness for prostate cancer, because it’s the number two cause of death amongst men prematurely,” Milovich said. “It’s all preventable. With early detection it’s almost always treatable.”
A reporter asked Milovich last week during a radio show while discussing the promotional event if the team would also be giving away prostate exams. Milovich may have laughed the question off and said no, but he then was asked if he would get a prostate exam during the game.
“I said ‘Alright I’ll do it, but it’s gotta be for a good cause. It’s got to help Fallon,” Milovich said.
Fallon Emery, a 10-year-old Carolina Forest girl, was diagnosed with brain cancer in December. Her battle with the disease has been chronicled on her “Fierce Fallon” Facebook page. Milovich’s family are close to Fallon’s family.
Milovich said he’d do it if Fallon’s Facebook page reached 10,000 likes.
Fallon has been greatly supported by the community in her fight. The team is hosting a fund raiser for her on Aug. 2 at the ballpark.
Milovich received a number of questions from those in sports media about the challenge, including whether or not he was for real. He responded that he was.
The goal is to get more men to get themselves examined.
“This is something that should be done,” Milovich said of having the exam. “I’m willing to kind of embarrass myself for the sake to taking that stigma away. If it will give a boy or girl a chance to play catch with their dad later in life then I’m happy to do it.”
The story has been picked up by ESPN, Sports Illustrated, and numerous national sports radio outlets and publications.
By Tuesday, Fallon had more than 11,000 likes on her “Fierce Fallon” Facebook page. Fallon’s mother explained to her what Milovich was doing to garner support for her, he said. Fallon thought his plan was funny.
“The response has really been overwhelming,” Milovich said.
Dave Oster, a longtime friend of Milovich and the general manager of the Lake Elsinore Storm in California, pledged Monday night to match Milovich’s challenge if the “Fierce Fallon” page reached 12,000 likes. By Wednesday evening the page had 11,288 likes.
While professional organizations vary on recommendations on who should and shouldn’t get a prostate-specific antigen exam to look for signs of prostate cancer, some organizations recommend the test in men between the ages of 40 and 75 and in men with an increased risk of prostate cancer, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Milovich is 45 and tonight’s exam will be his first, he said.
“It will be my first time, but luckily I’ll have a diversion,” he said. “And I’ll be saving a co-pay.”
Dr. Glenn Gangi with Atlantic Urology Specialists in Conway, S.C., will prepare for the exam in the media booth at the beginning of the 7th Inning. The exam will take place during the middle of the inning.
Milovich said only his face and maybe his shoulders will be visible to the crowd via video screen during the exam.
“Though the promotion is humorous in nature the exam is not and Andy is a trooper for sharing such a personal experience live,” Kristen Call, Pelicans senior director of marketing, said in an email. “We are taking every precaution to keep the video and photos of the exam respectful to both Andy and our fans.”
If Milovich was nervous at all about the exam he didn’t show it during an interview Tuesday.
“Hopefully, I get good results,” Milovich said.
Pelicans games are broadcast on ESPN 1490 in Myrtle Beach, S.C. The games also are available online at www.myrtlebeachpelicans.com or on MiLB.TV.
Contact writer Ashley B. Craig at email@example.com or 304-348-4850.