MLB Players and Celebrities join 2012 Honorary Bat Girl guest judging panel

Major League Baseball today announced the Guest Judging Panel for the 2012 Honorary Bat Girl program, which recognizes baseball fans who have been affected by breast cancer and demonstrate a commitment to “going to bat” in the fight against the disease. The Guest Judging Panel will help select one Honorary Bat Girl for each of the 30 MLB teams to be recognized on-field on Mother’s Day and includes strong support from players throughout the League who are personally committed to the fight against cancer. 

The Panel includes MLB players Joe Blanton of the Philadelphia Phillies, whose mom is a breast cancer survivor; Jason Heyward of the Atlanta Braves, whose aunt passed away from lung cancer; Howie Kendrick of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, whose best friend’s mom is a breast cancer survivor; and Barry Zito of the San Francisco Giants, whose mom was affected by cancer.  The MLB Team will be joined on the Guest Panel by MLB Network host Chris Rose, who has several close friends who have been affected by the disease; international soccer star Mia Hamm, supporter of the Honorary Bat Girl initiative with former MLB player and current ESPN analyst Nomar Garciaparra, whose grandmother passed away from breast cancer; actor James Denton of Desperate Housewives, who lost his mother to breast cancer. 

Nine-time Grammy award winner Bonnie Raitt recorded a video tribute to show her support of the Honorary Bat Girl Campaign, which will run closer to Mother’s Day online and in-stadium.

Fans shared their stories about themselves or loved ones who are “Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer” by visiting www.honorarybatgirl.com.  The Guest Panel will help select those who will be recognized on-field by their favorite baseball team on Mother’s Day, Sunday May 13th. 

During MLB’s annual national day of recognition on Mother’s Day, one Honorary Bat Girl per MLB Club will take part in pre-game activities, be honored during an on-field ceremony and receive pink MLB merchandise with two tickets to the game. For Clubs that are away on Mother’s Day, another home game in May will be selected to recognize their Honorary Bat Girl.

On Mother’s Day, hundreds of MLB players are expected to use pink bats by Louisville Slugger, the Official Bat of Major League Baseball, stamped with the MLB breast cancer awareness logo. To further demonstrate their support for the breast cancer cause, players and on-field personnel will wear the symbolic pink ribbon on their uniforms along with pink wrist bands. Commemorative dugout lineup cards also will be pink.