Major League Baseball today announced the 30 winners of the 2017 Honorary Bat Girl Contest, which recognizes baseball fans who have been affected by breast cancer and demonstrate a commitment to eradicating the disease. The winner of the Honorary Bat Girl Contest for the Orioles is AMBER SHAW, who will be recognized in a pregame ceremony at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on Friday, May 19, prior to the Orioles game against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Shaw will throw out the ceremonial first pitch and will receive pink MLB merchandise, as well as tickets to the game. Shaw, a breast cancer fighter from Hanover, Pa., was months away from getting married when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in March of 2014 at the age of 28. She started an aggressive treatment regimen and endured a double mastectomy, multiple rounds of intense chemotherapy, and a blood transfusion. Shaw refused to let her treatments derail her wedding plans and married her husband, DUSTIN, in October of that same year. Two years later, Shaw was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. She underwent two more surgeries, multiple rounds of chemotherapy, and oral chemotherapy. Through everything, she maintained a positive outlook and ultimately pursued a new career in mammography to help other breast cancer patients.
The Honorary Bat Girl winners were selected by fan votes on HonoraryBatGirl.com along with feedback from a Guest Judging Panel that featured several MLB players personally committed to the fight against breast cancer, including Orioles pitcher KEVIN GAUSMAN. Gausman's maternal grandmother passed away after a brave battle with breast cancer. The panel helped select the winning submissions based on originality, quality of writing, demonstration of commitment to breast-cancer awareness, and public appeal (as determined by online fan votes).
During Mother's Day weekend, on Saturday, May 13 and Sunday, May 14, Orioles players and uniformed personnel will wear jerseys with pink Orioles script and caps with a pink cartoon bird, which will be autographed and auctioned at www.orioles.com/auction to benefit the Baltimore Orioles Charitable Foundation. Commemorative base jewels and dugout lineup cards will also be pink. Mother's Day games will feature a pink-stitched Rawlings baseball as the official game day baseball. Numerous MLB players 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 of the game-used pink Louisville Slugger bats and other pink items from Mother's Day weekend games will be authenticated by MLB and auctioned exclusively on MLB.com/auction to benefit the fight against breast cancer.
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 nine years, thousands of unique testimonials have been submitted, and millions of fan votes have been cast. Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer is an MLB initiative supported by 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.