One Fan Per Club Selected by Celebrity Panel and More Than A Half-Million Fan Votes on HonoraryBatGirl.com. Hundreds of Players Expected to Use Pink Bats During Mother’s Day Games for Breast Cancer Awareness
(Release provided courtesy of Major League Baseball)
May 6, 2010 - Major League Baseball and Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the world’s largest breast cancer organization, announced the winners of the 2011 Honorary Bat Girl Contest, who will all be recognized on the field at MLB ballparks during Mother’s Day and breast cancer awareness celebrations. One winner for each of the 30 MLB Clubs was selected by a celebrity panel of judges and more than a half-million fan votes on HonoraryBatGirl.com, powered by MLB.com, the official Web site of Major League Baseball. The Honorary Bat Girl Contest is a campaign to recognize baseball fans who have been affected by breast cancer and have demonstrated a commitment to fighting the disease.
“Major League Baseball’s partnership with Susan G. Komen for the Cure, through the Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer program, represents one of our most significant causes,” said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. “The commitment from Clubs, players, and fans alike in the fight against breast cancer is truly special, and we are proud to highlight our efforts and increase awareness through our Mother’s Day celebration.”
During MLB’s annual Mother’s Day national day of recognition, each Honorary Bat Girl will take part in pre-game activities, be honored during an on-field ceremony and receive pink MLB merchandise and two tickets to the game. For Clubs that are away on Mother’s Day, another home game in May will be selected to recognize its Honorary Bat Girl.
The Honorary Bat Girl Contest was introduced in 2009 to raise additional awareness and support for the annual Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer initiative celebrated on Mother’s Day. In three years, nearly 4,000 testimonials have been submitted and more than six million fan votes have been cast. Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer is a joint partnership between MLB, its licensed partners and Susan G. Komen for the Cure to raise awareness about the breast cancer cause, while also raising funds to support breast cancer research.
Following is the list of all 2011 Honorary Bat Girl Contest winners (Clubs in alphabetical order; * = Home on Mother’s Day):
CLUB CONTEST WINNER HOMETOWN
Arizona Diamondbacks Connie Marino Peoria, AZ
Atlanta Braves Donna Brantley McDonough, GA
Baltimore Orioles* Brigid Morahan Annapolis, MD
Boston Red Sox* Amy Seich Canton, MA
Chicago Cubs* Katie Iannitelli Chicago, IL
Chicago White Sox Tasha Huebner Chicago, IL
Cincinnati Reds Cheryl Veigel Canton, OH
Cleveland Indians Beth Ann Vanek Munroe Falls
Colorado Rockies Alma Hubersberger Lone Tree, CO
Detroit Tigers Amy Maurice Oak Park, MI
Florida Marlins* Alison Pages Miami, FL
Houston Astros Linda Anderson Pearland, TX
Kansas City Royals* Susan Krigel Chicago, IL
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim* Melanie Hansen Orange, CA
Los Angeles Dodgers Alicia Manzur Upland, CA
Milwaukee Brewers Joan Kamholz Albany, WI
Minnesota Twins Carrie Johnson Stillwater, MN
New York Mets* Linda LaCugna Manalapan, NJ
New York Yankees Dayna Varano Wayne, NJ
Oakland Athletics Deborah Mata Orinda, CA
Philadelphia Phillies* Linda Camerota Brigantine, NJ
Pittsburgh Pirates* Catherine Brennan Verona, PA
San Diego Padres* Anitra Rooney La Mesa, CA
San Francisco Giants* Jennifer Solorio Sacramento, CA
Seattle Mariners* Kathleen Willett Snohomish, WA
St. Louis Cardinals* Alissa Nicks Maryland Heights, MO
Tampa Bay Rays Shari Elliott Bradenton, FL
Texas Rangers* Leslie Sewell Benton, LA
Toronto Blue Jays* Joanne Lubansky-Johns London, ON
Washington Nationals Cathy Colleli Olney, MD
The 30 Honorary Bat Girls were among more than 1,500 entrants that were selected by fan votes and a panel of celebrity judges that included Mrs. Billye Aaron, breast cancer survivor, Komen Global Ambassador for breast cancer and wife of Baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron; Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker, breast cancer survivor and founder and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure; Gabrielle Union, actress, co-survivor and supporter of the cause; Jon Lester, Boston Red Sox All-Star Pitcher and lymphoma survivor; Jered Weaver, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim All-Star Pitcher whose mother is a breast cancer survivor; Jim Thome, Five-time All-Star and Minnesota Twins Designated Hitter whose mother passed away from lung cancer; Suzyn Waldman, New York Yankees radio broadcaster and breast cancer survivor; and Mitch Williams, MLB Network analyst whose late mother had breast cancer.
“MLB’s Honorary Bat Girl program is wonderful because it highlights the personal stories of those affected by breast cancer,” said Katrina McGhee, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Susan G. Komen for the Cure. “The program showcases the everyday heroes who have faced breast cancer bravely and underscores why Komen’s work to end breast cancer forever is so important.”
On Mother’s Day (May 8), hundreds of MLB players are expected to use pink bats by Louisville Slugger, the Official Bat of Major League Baseball, stamped with the MLB breast cancer awareness logo. To further demonstrate their support for the breast cancer cause, players and on-field personnel will wear the symbolic pink ribbon on their uniforms, pink wrist bands and other pink items including pink Mother’s Day Phiten necklaces and bracelets. Commemorative dugout lineup cards also will be pink. Game-used Louisville Slugger pink bats from Mother’s Day games that have been authenticated by MLB will be auctioned exclusively on MLB.com at a later date to raise additional funds for Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Fans can purchase pink Mother’s Day products to benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure, including Phiten bracelets and necklaces and personalized Louisville Slugger pink bats, with $1 for each necklace and bracelet sold and $10 for each bat sold to be donated to Komen for the Cure. To purchase these products, please visit MLB.com, slugger.com or phitenusa.com.
Major League Baseball Health Initiatives
The Mother's Day Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer program is one of several cancer-related initiatives supported by Major League Baseball. Other initiatives include Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), whose mission is to support the groundbreaking scientific research aimed at getting new cancer treatments to patients in an accelerated timeframe; the annual Father’s Day celebration, in support of Prostate Cancer Foundation, which helps increase awareness of prostate cancer and raise money for the search for a cure; and Play Sun Smart, a league-wide, skin cancer awareness program in conjunction with the Major League Baseball Players Association and the American Academy of Dermatology.