Chicago White Sox second baseman Gordon Beckham had to endure a difficult sophomore season in 2010, and he's had a rough start to the 2011 campaign as well. But, if he's proved anything, it's that he can persevere through anything and still contribute to his team in a variety of ways. That spirit will serve him well in another battle -- that against Parkinson's disease, a serious neurological condition that affects an estimated one million people in the United States alone, including Gordon's grandfather.
During a press conference held at Northwestern University Hospital in Chicago today, Beckham announced that, every time he hits a home run, he'll donate money to the National Parkinson Foundation (NPF). His home run pledge is just part of a wider partnership between the 24-year-old infielder and NPF. Beckham is the face of the organization's Out of the Park for Parkinson's awareness campaign, which raised $60,000 for the fight against the disease last year and hopes to bring in even more funds in 2011.
If you'd like to make a one time donation to the campaign -- or even pledge a dollar amount for every home run Beckham hits -- you can visit the Out of the Park for Parkinson's website here. There's also a Facebook page you can "Like" and a Twitter account you can "Follow." Think of it as just one more very good reason to hope Beckham has a huge year for the South Siders.