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 Rangers is Kimberly Locke of Aledo, Texas. A native of Arlington, Texas and a lifelong Rangers' fan, Kimberly was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma and is currently undergoing treatment. She will be honored and will throw out a ceremonial first pitch on Mother's Day, Sunday, May 14 when the Rangers conclude a weekend series with the Oakland A's at 2:05 p.m.
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).
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 on MLB.com/auction 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 HonoraryBatGirl.com.