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Help Washington Nationals’ Kyle Finnegan raise money to fight pediatric cancer...

Now that Kyle Finnegan has a platform as a major league reliever, he’s using it to help fight pediatric cancer...

Kyle Finnegan put up solid numbers over seven seasons in the Oakland A’s organization after the Athletics drafted him in the 6th Round in 2013, including a combined 2.31 ERA between Double-A and Triple-A in the A’s system over 42 games and 50 2⁄3 IP in 2019.

The 29-year-old right-hander never got the call to the majors with Oakland, however, but he signed with the Washington Nationals on a major league deal this winter, and earned a spot in the Opening Day bullpen.

“I definitely feel like I earned this opportunity, so it’s nice,” Finnegan said, and now that he’s in the majors, and has a platform to promote things he’s passionate about, he’s trying to do what he can to help children and families dealing with pediatric cancer.

“It’s incredible to have this platform and this opportunity,” he said in a Zoom call on Friday afternoon from Atlanta, where the Nationals started a four-game series.

“It’s something I always looked forward to coming up and I always told myself if I ever had this opportunity I wanted to try to take advantage of it.”

What’s he doing?

“I was fortunate to get the opportunity to promote this cause through a connection that my dad made with somebody he works with.

“The campaign is the Vs. Cancer campaign, it’s part of the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation and so we teamed up to try raise whatever money that we could.

“It’s on and we’ve invited people to donate, or you can even pledge an amount of money per strikeout that I get for the remainder of the season.

“Just trying to raise anything we can for this great cause. I’m a dad myself, so that kind of hits home for me there with September being Childhood Cancer Month, so just trying to get that out there and raise money any way we can.”

Asked how he chose this particular cause, Finnegan said, “I believe childhood cancer is the most fatal disease for children.

“I read that 95% of childhood cancer survivors will experience lasting health effects throughout their lives.

“So it’s a very violent disease for children and I think that anything we can do to help that research and that treatment or the financial hardships that families will incur, it’s a cause that’s worthwhile.”

He also said he’s been honestly and pleasantly surprised by the response so far.

“It’s still very much in its infancy, and to already have a fair amount of money raised was just incredible to see with not a lot of — I feel like we haven’t really got it out there that much, so to have that money raised is great.”

Realizing now that he’s in the majors that he has a platform to do this sort of thing surprised and humbled him as well.

He’s got some name recognition now, which takes some adjusting to.

“I don’t look at myself that way, so it’s very humbling to see that something as simple as making a post can actually raise money for such an incredible cause.”

“I’m grateful to have this platform and be able to try to raise money for a good cause.”

His manager, Davey Martinez, said that he’s been impressed with what he’s seen from the reliever on and off the field in their first season together in the nation’s capital.

“He’s a special kid, he really is,” Martinez said. “You see he’s very humble, very appreciative of everything he gets.

“His character is one of caring. He cares about everything. As you see now with his [charity work on] cancer. He just wants to help, he wants to help as many people as he possibly can.

“I’m fortunate to have him, glad to have him,” the skipper added. “On the field he’s been a blessing, off the field, as you know now he’s tremendously important to the community and he wants to be involved in the community, so I’m proud of him.

“He’s a kid that, like I said, he works hard for everything that he has, and he just wants to give back.”