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 D-backs is Barbara Nicholl, from Mesa.
Nicholl was diagnosed with breast cancer from a routine mammogram, after which she had a mastectomy and underwent chemo. Nicholl has been cancer free for nearly 10 years now and the moment she was able to, she began tirelessly fundraising, spreading awareness, and supporting the fight to end breast cancer so other women and other families wouldn't have to face what she did. She began fundraising and walking in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk, amongst other efforts. She joined a team of other survivors and supporters, who call themselves the Tukee Tatas, who participate in the 3-Day Walk together each year. Even after the 3-Day Walk was no longer held in Arizona, she and her team have traveled to participate in the walk in other states. This September, she will be completing the 3-Day Walk in Seattle, marking her 10th year participation. Following her recovery, Barbara underwent testing that found she is a carrier of the BRCA-2 "cancer gene," at which point she had a preventative mastectomy on her other breast. Nicholl has been cancer free for nearly 10 years and works tirelessly to fundraise and spread awareness. Nicholl has participated in the Susan G. Komen 3-Day Walk for the past nine years and will participate again this year in Seattle. She will be recognized in a pregame ceremony on May 10.
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.