By CBS3 Staff


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Mike Schmidt threw out the first pitch before the Phillies’ 7-5 win over the Colorado Rockies at Citizens Bank Park on Saturday afternoon to kick off efforts to keep fans sun-safe.

It was Melanoma Awareness Day at the ballpark.

As the weather gets warmed with the sun out longer, Schmidt had a reminder for Phillies fans.

Protect yourselves outside.

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The Hall of Fame third baseman wants all fans to add sunscreen to their checklist of things to bring to the yard after tests revealed he had stage three melanoma on his back in 2013.

“You really can’t look at that area easily,” Schmidt said, “and man, it can be bad. Not everyone’s as lucky as me.”

Schmidt has partnered with the Phillies, the Richard David Kann Melanoma Foundation and Lower Moreland High School to make sure people are protected on the long, hot summer days at the ballpark.

“It’s a very easy thing to forget and the cost of not putting on sunscreen is very serious,” Aryn Chartock, a lacrosse player at Lower Moreland High School, said, “and could lead to major damage.”

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One person every hour dies of melanoma and now the Phillies are doing their part to slow the trend.

“I think some people think sunburn isn’t a big deal,” Colleen Quinn-Maxwell, a Lower Moreland High School teacher, said, “but one sunburn can lead to a higher risk of getting melanoma.”

Quinn-Maxwell is a skin cancer survivor herself.

“I’m freckles and light skinned,” she said, “but that doesn’t mean people don’t have the same risk factors.”

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That includes a three-time MVP, 12-time All Star and a Hall of Famer.

“My scans are clean right now,” Schmidt said, “and I’m excited about every day I get to live on this earth.”

CBS3’s Dan Koob contributed to this report.