Cancer patient dies during quest to visit every MLB park

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TWINSBURG, Ohio - A cancer patient who was trying to raise awareness of the disease during a quest to visit every Major League Baseball park this season has died at his home near Cleveland.

Jeffrey Newbauer Jr., 22, died Wednesday night, according to the Web site that chronicled his journey: http://www.jeffsballparktour.com.

Donations helped Newbauer visit 26 of 30 ballparks over the last four months in what was called the "Cancer Sucks Ballpark Tour."

The quest enabled Newbauer, diagnosed with cancer in 2003, to talk with national news outlets about childhood cancer and research.

"Jeffrey had an incredible love for baseball that was only preceded by his passion to help other children, particularly those with cancer," read a statement on the Web site. "What started as fulfilling a lifelong wish for Jeffrey, quickly became a mission for him - a mission to help STRIKE OUT this terrible disease and the devastating effects it has on children and their families."

Newbauer began his quest at Jacobs Field in Cleveland on June 25 and attended his final game this season Oct. 1 at AT&T Park in San Francisco, according to the Web site.

He had tickets to Tuesday's Game 3 of the World Series, but couldn't make the trip to watch the Detroit Tigers play the Cardinals in St. Louis because of his failing health. He died less than a half-hour before Wednesday's scheduled start of Game 4, which was rained out.

"He couldn't wait to catch those games," said his father, Jeff Newbauer Sr., of Chagrin Falls.

The younger Newbauer made his father promise to try to raise $2 million for the fight against cancer by the start of the next baseball season.

"I've got a lot of work to do," the father said. "We're not done with Jeff's fight."

A funeral Mass was scheduled for Monday at Sts. Cosmas & Damian church in Twinsburg, Newbauer's Web site said.

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