MLB launches the 2016 Honorary Bat Girl Contest

Annual program encourages fans to share "Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer" stories for chance to be honored on-field during Mother's Day celebrations

Major League Baseball has launched the 2016 Honorary Bat Girl Contest, which will identify one fan per MLB Club who has been affected by breast cancer and has demonstrated a commitment to battling the disease.  

Men and women, ages 18 and older, can share stories about themselves or loved ones who are "Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer" by visiting, powered by MLB Advanced Media, for a chance to be recognized on-field by their favorite team on Mother's Day, Sunday, May 8th. For Clubs that are away on Mother's Day, another home game will be selected to recognize their Honorary Bat Girl. 

Fans also are invited to visit the site to vote for these inspirational stories, which are designed to provide hope and motivation for the fight against breast cancer. Entries can be submitted by breast cancer survivors, friends and family, advocates and/or supporters of the cause through April 14 at 4:59 p.m. ET.

Health & wellness expert and star of Just Jillian on E! Network, Jillian Michaels, as well as Scott Kazmir of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Jered Weaver of the Los Angeles Angels, Kevin Gausman of the Baltimore Orioles, Jeremy Jeffress of the Milwaukee Brewers, Sam Ryan & Chris Rose of MLB Network and Lindsay Berra & Alyson Footer of will serve as guest judges for the contest. Michaels is an ambassador for Stand Up To Cancer. Both Kazmir's and Weaver's mothers are breast cancer survivors. Gausman lost both his grandmothers to breast cancer. Jeffress lost both his aunt and uncle to cancer. Ryan's mother is a breast cancer survivor, and Rose has several close friends who have been affected by the disease. Each judge will review a portion of the submissions and their opinions will be considered in the selection process. Additional Major Leaguers may also join the panel and will be announced at a later date.

A panel of judges, including the guest judging panel, will help select the winning submissions based on the following criteria: originality, quality of writing, demonstration of commitment to breast cancer awareness and public appeal (as determined by online fan votes).

During MLB's annual recognition of Mother's Day, one Honorary Bat Girl per home Club will take part in pre-game activities, including being recognized during an on-field ceremony, and also receive pink MLB merchandise along with two tickets to the game.

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 seven years, thousands of unique testimonials have been submitted and millions of fan votes have been cast. Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer is a Major League Baseball initiative supported by its 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.

On every Mother's Day since 2006, hundreds of MLB players use pink bats by Louisville Slugger, the Official Bat of Major League Baseball, stamped with the MLB breast cancer awareness logo. To further demonstrate their support for the breast cancer cause, players and on-field personnel have worn the symbolic pink ribbon on their uniforms as well as pink wrist bands. Commemorative dugout lineup cards also have been pink and stamped with the pink ribbon logo. Game-used Louisville Slugger pink bats and other game-used gear from Mother's Day games have been auctioned exclusively on to raise funds for the fight against breast cancer.

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