Wendy Shurelds from San Diego Named Padres' 2017 Honorary Bat Girl

Shurelds Will Be Honored on May 15 at Petco Park

Major League Baseball has announced the winners of the 2017 Honorary Bat Girl contest, which recognizes fans who have been affected by breast cancer and have demonstrated a commitment to battling the disease. The Honorary Bat Girl for the San Diego Padres is Wendy Shurelds from San Diego, CA. After tragically losing her mother in a workplace accident, Shurelds, along with the United Support and Memorial for Workplace Fatalities (USMWF), helped write the Family Bill of Rights, which was adopted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. It was the same fight and desire to help others that would be needed when Shurelds was diagnosed with Stage 2B breast cancer in 2013. Now in remission, she advocates on behalf of all women, specifically those in the African American community, encouraging all women to take control of their own health. "Life is very short; I don't take life for granted anymore. I live my life moment by moment and I try to have fun and be happy. Fighting for these women is my passion," said Shurelds.

The Padres will recognize Shurelds' strength and commitment to helping others in the fight against this disease by honoring her during a pregame homeplate ceremony on Monday, May 15 prior to the Padres taking on the Milwaukee Brewers. She we will be joined by members of her family, and those close to her, that helped her throughout her successful battle. Following the homeplate ceremony, she will join 100 breast cancer survivors and co-survivors, who will be forming a pink ribbon in center field in honor of those in battle with this terrible disease. Shurelds will also be receiving a custom pink Padres jersey, a personalized pink Louisville Slugger bat and a goodie bag from Major League Baseball.

During the Honorary Bat Girl contest entry timeline, fans from across the United States and Canada shared how they, or their loved ones, support the cause to raise awareness and find a cure for breast cancer. The winners were selected by a panel of judges, including special guests, who chose the winning submissions based on the following criteria: quality of writing and description of personal connection to breast cancer, demonstration of commitment to the battle against the disease and public appeal (as determined by online fan votes).

Special guests judges included the following: Uzo Aduba, Emmy Award-winning star of the hit Netflix series Orange Is the New Black and Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) ambassador, Brenda Song, star of CBS drama Pure Genius and SU2C ambassador, as well as breast cancer survivors Holly Rowe and Shelley Smith of ESPN, MLB' Network's Kelly Nash & Chris Rose, and Lindsay Berra & Alyson Footer of MLB.com.

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 celebrated 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 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, while also raising funds to support breast cancer research.

For the first time MLB players will have the opportunity to use pink bats on both Saturday, May 13th and Sunday, May 14th of Mother's Day weekend. Louisville Slugger, the Official Bat of Major League Baseball, will donate proceeds from the sale of their pink bats, which will be stamped with the MLB breast cancer awareness logo, to Susan G. Komen and Stand Up To Cancer. Authenticated, game-used Louisville Slugger pink bats and other pink items from Mother's Day weekend games also will be auctioned exclusively here to benefit the fight against breast cancer.   

On Mother's Day weekend, players and on-field personnel also will wear the symbolic pink ribbon on their uniforms along with pink wristbands. Players will wear specially-designed uniforms that incorporate pink into the Clubs' regular logos as well as caps highlighted by a graphite crown and pink visor and options from two different pairs of pink-infused socks. MLB will again donate its licensed uniform royalties to Susan G. Komen and Stand Up To Cancer. Commemorative base jewels and dugout lineup cards also will be pink. Mother's Day games will feature a pink-stitched Rawlings baseball, the official ball of MLB, as the official game ball. In addition to the pink bats throughout Mother's Day weekend, the following game equipment can be used for breast cancer awareness: pink compression sleeves, pink batting gloves, pink footwear, pink wrist/elbow/leg guards and catcher's equipment. 

For more information, please visit the Honorary Bat Girl website here.