FRISCO, Texas (Aug. 20, 2017) - The Frisco RoughRiders Foundation presented a check for $5,000 to Texas Rangers pitcher Jake Diekman and his fiancée Amanda Soltero on behalf of the Gut It Out Foundation on Sunday at Dr Pepper Ballpark.
The RoughRiders, the Double-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers, began raising funds for the Gut It Out Foundation on Thursday through sales at the Riders Outpost Team Store, including a special Diekman No. 41 t-shirt. Diekman made Major League rehabilitation appearances for the RoughRiders on Thursday and Sunday.
"The RoughRiders are proud to partner with the Jake and Amanda for this worthy cause," RoughRiders Chief Operating Officer Scott Burchett said. "Thanks to our fans and the entire RoughRiders community for supporting Jake and the Gut It Foundation over the past few days."
Diekman and Soltero announced their creation of a nonprofit, Gut It Out Foundation, on Wednesday. The organization's name is inspired by Diekman's mantra "Gut It Out," which he embodied as he recently recovered from a three-part surgery to treat his ulcerative colitis.
The mission of the Gut It Out Foundation is to connect patients and caregivers through education and inspiration in order to strengthen relationships and resources in the inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) community. Managed by Diekman's agency, Beverly Hills Sports Council (BHSC), the Foundation will support organizations and efforts dedicated to improving the quality of life for those in the IBD community, focusing on education, research, pediatric care and support groups.
For its inaugural fundraiser, the Gut It Out Foundation will accept online donations at www.gutitoutfoundation.org to benefit IBD research at Mayo Clinic. Diekman chose the Mayo Clinic to thank the organization for playing a major role in the success of his J-pouch surgery, recovery and upcoming return to the mound.
Over three surgeries starting in January 2017, Mayo Clinic colorectal surgeon Dr. Robert Cima removed Diekman's diseased large intestine and rectum and used his small intestine to create a bypass to the anus. Few professional athletes have dealt with a similar surgery; the most notable athlete case is former San Diego Chargers kicker Rolf Benirschke in 1979.
In addition, the Foundation will benefit from the third design of the 'Gut It Out' t-shirt co-created by Jake Diekman and Athletes Brand, which will launch on August 21, 2017 on www.athletesbrand.com.
About Jake Diekman
Jake Diekman is a left-handed pitcher for the Texas Rangers, who most recently played an important role as a relief pitcher during the Rangers' 2016 postseason run. In 2014, Jake became just the third reliever in Philadelphia Phillies' history to strike out 100 batters in a season. Originally from Wymore, Nebraska, Diekman was drafted out of Cloud Community College in the 2007 MLB Draft. Off the field, Jake is known for being a vocal advocate for IBD patients. He is active on Twitter (@JakeDiekman), Instagram (@JakeDiekman41) and Facebook (@OfficialJakeDiekman).
About Gut It Out Foundation
Gut It Out Foundation, Inc. ("Gut It Out") is a California nonprofit public benefit corporation operating through a fiscal sponsorship with Players' Philanthropy Fund (Federal Tax ID: 27-6601178), a Maryland charitable trust recognized by the IRS with federal tax-exempt status as a public charity under Section 501(c)(3). Contributions to Gut It Out are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law.
The Gut It Out Foundation was founded by Jake Diekman and his fiancée, Amanda Soltero in August 2017. Its mission is to connect patients and caregivers through education and inspiration in order to strengthen relationships and resources in the inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) community. The day-to-day operations of the Foundation will be managed by Beverly Hills Sports Council (BHSC). For more information, please visit www.gutitoutfoundation.org or connect on Facebook (@gutitoutfoundation) and Instagram (@gutitout).
About the RoughRiders
The Frisco RoughRiders are the Double-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers and play their games at beautiful Dr Pepper Ballpark in Frisco, Texas. The team was founded in 2003 and has finished first among all Double-A franchises in attendance in each of the last 12 seasons (2005-2016). In August 2014, the RoughRiders were purchased by an ownership group led by Chuck Greenberg. The new ownership group, together with the city of Frisco, has spearheaded numerous major franchise improvements over the past two seasons, investing nearly $8 million in a wide array of facility upgrades and improvements, including a new state-of-the-art HD video board, sound system, Bull Moose Saloon, InTouch Grille, Riders Outpost Team Store and the newest and biggest creation, the 174-foot Choctaw Lazy River. The upgrades made prior to the 2015 season earned the Riders and the City of Frisco "Best Ballpark Renovation" of 2015 by Ballpark Digest. The same publication also honored the Choctaw Lazy River as the best ballpark improvement over $1 million for the 2016 season. More than 140 former RoughRiders players have gone on to play Major League Baseball, including All-Stars Chris Davis, Adrian Gonzalez, Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz, as well as current Rangers stars Elvis Andrus, Rougned Odor and Nomar Mazara. For more information on the Frisco RoughRiders and Dr Pepper Ballpark, please visit RidersBaseball.com or contact Art Garcia at AGarcia@RidersBaseball.com or Ryan Rouillard at RRouillard@RidersBaseball.com.