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 Atlanta Braves is Tracy Chitwood of Hampton, Ga., who will be recognized before the game on Friday, May 22.
Chitwood will serve as the Honorary Team Captain and participate in the exchange of the line-up cards, after which she will meet and greet with the Braves wives. Chitwood was diagnosed with breast cancer 13 years ago, and is currently living with Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer. Despite undergoing numerous surgeries to fight the disease, including one that forced her to have all her teeth removed, Chitwood continues to encourage others and actively volunteer for Susan G. Komen and the American Cancer Society.
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.