Arlington, Texas - Major League Baseball today announced the 30 winners of 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 winner of the Honorary Bat Girl Contest for the Texas Rangers is Plano native, Anne Embry.
Anne began her fight against breast cancer at the age of 28, just a few weeks shy of her 29th birthday in late 2011. Although she does not have a family history of breast cancer, Anne discovered she carried a gene that predisposed her to the cancer. The young wife and mother spent the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012 undergoing a double mastectomy and chemotherapy, in addition to helping raise awareness for other women to get mammograms. Anne resides in Shreveport, Louisiana where her husband is assigned as an active duty Air Force pilot, and throughout her battle, she remains steadfast in her inspirational words: "Praying and Fighting, there are no other options." Since her diagnosis, Anne has chronicled her brave fight on her blog, Fight Like a Girl, which is the slogan used on the T-shirts she sells to benefit the "Bright Pink" organization in support of other women fighting the disease. Anne completed her fourth and final chemotherapy session on April 11, 2012.
Anne, who attended high school at Plano East and received her college degree from Texas Christian University, considers herself a lifelong Rangers fan. Mrs. Embry and her family will attend the game on Mother's Day at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on May 13, 2012 as special guests of the Rangers. Prior to the 7:05 p.m. game against the Angels, Anne will also meet Rangers players and be honored in a pre-game ceremony.
Anne Embry is one of the 30 winners, one for each MLB Club, who will take part in pre-game activities, be honored during an on-field ceremony, and will receive pink MLB merchandise and tickets to the game. Each winner was selected by a Guest Judging Panel that includes MLB players and celebrities in addition to fan votes casted on HonoraryBatGirl.com.
Nine-time Grammy award winner Bonnie Raitt, who lost her brother and close friends to cancer, recorded a special video at the MLB Fan Cave to lend her support to the Honorary Bat Girl initiative and the ongoing fight to eradicate the disease. The video, which will run online and in-stadium, can be seen at:
The Guest Judging Panel who helped select the 30 winners included 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. Also on the Guest Panel was 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 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.
Also 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.
The Honorary Bat Girl Contest 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 2006, Major League Baseball created the "Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer" program. Since its beginnings, MLB has continued to grow the program throughout the League and with all 30 Clubs to honor those affected by the disease. Along with MLB licensed partners and Susan G. Komen for the Cure, MLB raises awareness about the breast cancer cause. Game-used Louisville Slugger pink bats from Mother's Day games that have been authenticated by MLB will be auctioned exclusively on MLB.com to benefit cancer research. To learn more about Major League Baseball's charitable initiatives visit MLBCommunity.org.