Braves' Honorary Bat Girl has amazing outlook

Fighting cancer for a third time, Alabama native Thomas' spirit is strong

Carol Thomas has maintained a strong spirit and resolve while battling breast cancer for a third time and continuing to provide guidance to her two children. Her determination and positive outlook has earned her the chance to serve as the Braves' Honorary Bat Girl during Sunday's Mother's Day matinee against the D-backs at Turner Field.

Thomas will tour Turner Field and meet some of the Braves' players and wives while serving as the Honorary Bat Girl, an honor that Major League Baseball instituted in 2009 to raise additional awareness and support for the annual "Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer" initiative that is annually celebrated at big league stadiums on Mother's Day.

"We have been Atlanta Braves fans forever and frequently attend games," Thomas said in her application. "I am leaving the game tradition to my lovely daughter, who played softball during her school years, including in college on scholarship!! I feel like this would be a perfect way to hand her the bat to carry on as well as to give me one last Turner Field experience to talk about when I get to heaven to see my mom and dad!!"

Thomas, 50, is undergoing chemotherapy for the third time since 2013, when she was first diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer. The Guntersville, Ala., native's oncologist has given her a year to plan for what she has termed her "final grand slam and party."

The Braves' selection panel for this honor included first baseman Freddie Freeman, who was 9 years old when his mother died after a battle with melanoma.

Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.