Marlins Honorary Bat Girl to be honored Friday

Gotay-Cano battling cancer while raising two boys

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Marlins on Sunday sported pink as part of Major League Baseball's Mother's Day tradition to raise breast cancer awareness. A number of players used pink bats and wore pink wristbands that featured the symbolic ribbon.

To Missy Gotay-Cano, Mother's Day is yet another reminder of the battle she lives daily. Diagnosed last summer at age 40 with breast cancer, she is doing her part to combat the disease.

For her efforts, Gotay-Cano has been recognized as the Marlins Honorary Bat Girl for Mother's Day.

Although the Marlins are spending Mother's Day at San Francisco, the organization will still pay tribute to Gotay-Cano during a pregame ceremony Friday before Miami faces the Braves at Marlins Park.

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. In seven years, thousands of testimonials have been submitted and more than 2 million fan votes have been cast.

Gotay-Cano remains an inspiration. She has undergone a double mastectomy and reconstructive surgery and began chemotherapy.

A wife and mother of two boys, she maintains an active lifestyle. Her two boys play baseball, and she began playing softball at age 4.

Gotay-Cano stayed active with softball through high school and college, and she even coached the sport at the high school level.

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 and also raises funds to support breast cancer research.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.