Major League Baseball has announced the 30 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 Detroit Tigers is Heidi Westphal from Saginaw Michigan who will be recognized in a pre-game ceremony on Sunday, May 10.
Heidi was selected through an online contest at tigers.com to recognize inspirational MLB fans that have been affected by breast cancer and demonstrated a commitment to the cause. She will receive tickets to the game, along with a special Honorary Bat Girl jersey, Louisville Slugger pink bat engraved with her name and the opportunity to watch batting practice on the field at Comerica Park. Plus, Heidi will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Tigers take on the Kansas City Royals at 8:05 p.m. Heidi was diagnosed with breast cancer in the fall of 2013 and completed chemo treatments, had a bilateral mastectomy and reconstructive surgery. Throughout her journey, Heidi has shown support for breast health awareness at fundraisers and recognition programs, but the most significant was a volleyball fundraiser, "For the Love of the Bumps," that honored Heidi as a cancer warrior. She will be helping with this same event this year as a cancer survivor.
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.