Major League Baseball has announced the winners of the 2015 Honorary Bat Girl contest, which recognizes baseball fans who have been affected by breast cancer and who demonstrate a commitment to eradicating the disease. The Honorary Bat Girl for the Cleveland Indians is Wellington native and Columbus resident Alecia Dennis.
Alecia, 26, was diagnosed with breast cancer in the fall, and had a lumpectomy a few weeks later. She's undergone numerous chemotherapy treatments, and when she's done with chemo, she will undergo a bilateral mastectomy. She's undergoing these treatments while working and attending classes at Capital University in Columbus to get her MBA, and being a mother to her 1½-year-old son.
Alecia and her family will attend Sunday's game at Progressive Field as the Indians take on the Twins, and she'll throw the ceremonial first pitch.
"We're proud to recognize Alecia and all women who have battled breast cancer through the Honorary Bat Girl contest," said Rebecca Kodysh, the Indians Executive Director of Community Impact.
The Honorary Bat Girl program 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 seven years, thousands of unique testimonials have been submitted and more than 2 million fan votes have been cast. Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer is a Major League Baseball initiative supported by MLB charitable partners, Stand Up To Cancer and Susan G. Komen. This initiative raises awareness about the breast cancer cause, while also raising funds to support breast cancer research.
On Mother's Day, players and on-field personnel will wear the symbolic pink ribbon on their uniforms along with pink wrist bands. Commemorative base jewels and dugout lineup cards also will be pink. Games will feature a pink-stitched Rawlings baseball, the official ball of MLB, as the official game ball. Many MLB players also will use pink bats, and pink Louisville Slugger bats, the Official Bat of Major League Baseball, will be stamped with the MLB breast cancer awareness logo. Many authenticated, game-used Louisville Slugger pink bats from Mother's Day games will be auctioned exclusively on MLB.com to benefit the fight against breast cancer.