Rays to resume 'Fortune Favors the Bald' initiative

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- It's time, once again, for the Tampa Bay Rays to come clean. Clean shaven, that is.

On Tuesday morning, manager Joe Maddon sent out the following tweet announcing the second "The Fortune Favors the Bald" effort by the club:

We're shaving our heads again to support Pediatric Cancer Foundation. 3/15 vs. PHI. Donate $100 at fastercure.org & you can join us.

- Joe Maddon (@RaysJoeMaddon) March 5, 2013

The effort began last spring, when more than 70 members of the Rays -- players, coaches, the manager and executives -- all shaved their heads to raise money for and pay tribute to children battling cancer. Principal owner Stu Sternberg not only had his head shaved, he made a $25,000 donation to the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer and Research Institute, where he serves on the board of advisors.

"I thought it was one of the more pertinent moments in our organization since I've been here, seeing everybody together doing that," Maddon said. "I was standing up top watching it unfold after I was done, and I was impressed with the moment."

The Rays want the moment to get bigger. Last year, the event was almost entirely organization-related, with few fans joining the buzz-fest. They'd like that to change. Donate $100 and get your head shaved with the Rays and get one of those "The Fortune Favors the Bald" shirts, this time in blue (last year's was gold/yellow).

"It's something for us to continue to build upon and keep it rolling, get more fan support," Maddon said. "Last year, the awareness factor wasn't there for the fan base. There's a little more time to get that done."

Then Rays fans can find out what members of the organization did a year ago: Initial fear about having a shaved head gave way to relief and sometimes even an embracing of a new look.

"Last year was revealing in a sense," Maddon said. "We didn't look as badly as we thought we were going to look. Guys kind of dug it. Beyond that, it's about the cause."