Day full of grace for Cubs' Bat Girl at Wrigley

Oliver credits late sister for perfect weather on Mother's Day

Day full of grace for Cubs' Bat Girl at Wrigley

CHICAGO -- Molly Oliver has been a Cubs fan her entire life, and the 30-year-old legal assistant had a dream-like day Sunday, meeting the players and taking the lineup card out at Wrigley Field. She credited her late sister Grace for the perfect weather.

Oliver was a winner of Major League Baseball's Honorary Bat Girl Contest, which recognizes baseball fans who have been affected by breast cancer and who demonstrate a commitment to supporting the fight against the disease.

Oliver's younger sister, Grace, was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumor, and she died last summer. Prior to Grace's passing, Molly learned that she had breast cancer, but she kept her diagnosis private until two weeks after the funeral.

According to a Molly's friend, Megan Crawford, Molly's own battle was less important to her than people fully honoring Grace's memory. On Sunday, Molly joked that Grace was not only responsible for the beautiful weather at Wrigley Field but also playing tricks on her. Molly had attended a cousin's wedding Saturday, and she left her makeup at the hotel.

"She messed with me today," Molly said, smiling. "It's like, 'Thanks, Grace.' She's with us."

Oliver's mother also was at the game, decked out in pink to join the Mother's Day celebration.

"She's really excited," Molly said. "It's an honor for her to be here with me today."

Molly was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer, and said that she's finished her chemo and radiation. Her hair is growing back and she'll be completely done with treatments by the end of July.

She provides updates to her inner circle of friends and family that feature "Cocktail Friday," referring to her chemotherapy, and "Feelin' the Burn," in reference to her radiation. And she signs every email with her mantra, "Full of Grace."

Crawford submitted Molly for the MLB Bat Girl campaign, and wrote: "Molly is a diehard Cubs fan. In her email revealing her diagnosis, she wrote: 'I know what you're all thinking, What do I need? I don't really need much other than this to be over. I will be happy to reach out to you all if I do need something, like maybe the universe to cut me some slack for a hot second and let the Cubs win the World Series."

She'll have to wait until October to see if that happens.

Authentic game-used Louisville Slugger pink bats and other gear from Mother's Day games will be auctioned exclusively at MLB.com, with proceeds benefiting the fight against breast cancer. The complete Mother's Day collection -- which includes the special caps and jerseys being worn by players on Sunday -- is available at the MLB.com Shop.

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.