Sun & Skin News

At the Old Ballgame

By Julie Bain • August 25, 2023

The smell of popcorn, the roar of the crowd — who doesn’t love baseball? Whether it’s a Little League game in your own neighborhood, or good seats at a legendary Major League stadium, it’s still America’s pastime. Sitting in the sun for several innings, though, may cause a nasty sunburn — and that could lead to skin cancer. Follow our top tips, below, to put you and your family in the Sun Safe Hall of Fame.  

1. A hat with a brim is better than a cap with a bill. 
We know you are loyal to your well-worn cap (and your team!), but baseball caps only cover about a quarter of your head, leaving areas like the ears, back of the neck and the chest exposed to the sun. The ideal hat for sun protection has a wide brim with a tightly woven fabric that prevents light rays from getting through. A bucket hat, fashionable and not likely to blow off in a breeze, can be a good compromise. Some franchises sponsor bucket hat giveaways each season.

2. Apply sunscreen like a pro, and reapply halfway.
Before you head to the game, apply sunscreen to any exposed skin. Even if you’re wearing a hat, apply sunscreen to your face for when you’re looking up for those fly balls. Don’t forget your hands, forearms, ears and the back of your neck. And if you want to rub a little eye black on to cut the glare like some players do, go for it. 

Even if you covered yourself in sunscreen at home before you left, you’ll need to reapply before the 7th inning stretch. Squeeze sunscreen on your arm (or into your hand) like you squirt mustard on a hot dog. Then rub it in. (Not the mustard.) If you’ve washed your hands, reapply to the backs of them. Don’t miss any exposed spots! 

3. Wear your shades.
Look for lenses that absorb and block 99 to 100 percent of UVA and UVB rays, to protect your eyes from damage that can lead to skin cancer and other eye problems later. Also, you won’t have to squint as much. And polarized lenses tend to reduce glare. 

4. If you can, sit in the shady section.
If you’re a spectator, aim for shade. Call the stadium box office, check the website or, if you live nearby, observe which seats are in shade at game time. You won’t get sunburned, you will see better and you’ll be cooler, too. Still, wear your sunscreen for any incidental exposure you’ll get while buying popcorn or searching for where you parked your car. 

5. Bring your glove.
That way, you don’t even have to remove your hat to catch a fly ball. 


Thursday, August 24, 2023 was Skin Cancer Awareness Day at Yankee Stadium. It was a great day! Every fan who purchased a ticket received an exclusive New York Yankees bucket hat co-branded with The Skin Cancer Foundation logo, plus a hot dog and a drink. Free skin cancer screenings were available before the game, thanks to Darrell Rigel, MD. We appreciate Dr. Rigel organizing this effort and leading the screening component, as he has done for many years.

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