Major League Baseball announced the 30 winners of the 2015 Honorary Bat Girl Contest that recognizes baseball fans who have been affected by breast cancer and demonstrate a commitment to eradicating the disease. The winner of the Honorary Bat Girl Contest for the Orioles is SARA TRESSELT, who will be recognized in a pre-game ceremony at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on Friday, May 15 prior to the Orioles game vs. the Los Angeles Angels.
Tresselt will be honored during an on-field ceremony, will throw out the ceremonial first pitch, and will receive pink MLB merchandise and tickets to the game. A 37-year-old breast cancer fighter, she was diagnosed with Stage III Invasive Ductal Carcenoma-Breast Cancer in October of 2011. Since her diagnosis, she has undergone 18 weeks of intense chemotherapy, a bilateral mastectomy, six weeks of daily radiation treatments, breast reconstruction, and a year of Herceptin treatment. A year later, the cancer returned and she underwent three more months of chemotherapy. Throughout her battle, she continues to volunteer at the local homeless shelter and soup kitchen each week and also participated in a mission trip to Ecuador, bringing school supplies to an orphanage.
Fans from across the country and Canada shared inspirational stories that provide hope and motivation in the fight against breast cancer, as well as the reasons they or their nominees should represent their favorite team. The Honorary Bat Girl winners were selected by fan votes on HonoraryBatGirl.com along with feedback from a Guest Judging Panel with MLB players who are personally committed to the fight against breast cancer. The panel helped select the winning submissions based on originality, quality of writing, demonstration of commitment to breast-cancer awareness, and public appeal (as determined by online fan votes).
When the Orioles visit the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium on Sunday, May 10, 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 will also be pink. Games on Mother's Day will use a pink stitched Rawlings baseball as the official game day baseball. Numerous MLB players 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 of the game-used pink Louisville Slugger bats from Mother's Day games will be authenticated by MLB and auctioned exclusively on MLB.com to benefit the fight against breast cancer.
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, which is commemorated on Mother's Day. In six years, thousands of unique testimonials have been submitted, and more than four million fan votes have been cast. Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer is an MLB initiative supported by charitable partners Stand Up To Cancer and Susan G. Komen. The initiative raises awareness about breast cancer while also raising funds to support breast cancer research.