ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - Taking the mound for the first time as a Major League Baseball player would be special enough for most people, but pitcher Tanner Houck decided to raise it to another level. He announced on Twitter Tuesday, hours before his first pitch with the Boston Red Sox, that for every strikeout he records, he'll donate $100 to a charity that helps find permanent homes for children up for adoption in the Southern Illinois area.
Houck is a Collinsville, Ill. native who played baseball at the University of Missouri, then was drafted in the first round by Boston in 2017.
He's the older brother of an adopted sister, so donating to help children at St. John Bosco Children’s Center in Belleville via the Caritas Family Solutions charity seemed to be an easy choice.
“Definitely excited. It has been a dream of mine since I started playing baseball. Finally getting that call to make my debut and get the start, I’m really honored and very excited for it as well. It’s something I’ve worked my whole life for. I guess it’s a dream come true," Houck said.
After getting the news that he would start on Tuesday, Houck called his mother, Jennifer.
This isn't the first time Houck has supported the "#PitchForAdoption" campaign. In 2018, he donated $25 for every strikeout he recorded "to help advocate for children in need of family support & ensure more children will be adopted out of foster care."
I'm excited to announce my 2018 season campaign benefitting the National @adoptioncouncil. For each strikeout, I’ll be personally donating $25 to help advocate for children in need of family support & ensure more children will be adopted out of foster care. You can join me by either making a pledge or a one-time donation to this cause that is so close to my heart. Pledgeit.org/tanner-houck #PitchForAdoption
A post shared by Tanner Houck (@tanner_houck11) on Apr 2, 2018 at 8:22am PDT