Here’s the bulk of a press release from Major League Baseball:
An All-Star cast will serve as celebrity judges on a blue ribbon panel for the 2010 Honorary Bat Girl Contest, an initiative led by Major League Baseball® and Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, the world’s largest breast cancer organization.
Access Hollywood’s Maria Menounos joins Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker, founder and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, MLB All-Star Pitchers Brian Wilson, CC Sabathia, John Lackey and Jake Peavy, along with MLB Network’s Trenni Kusnierek and Mitch Williams, in casting their ballots for the most inspirational stories from MLB fans who have been affected by breast cancer.
The judges will select the winning submissions based on the following criteria: originality, quality of writing, demonstration of commitment to breast cancer awareness and public appeal, as determined by online fan votes. There is less than a week remaining for fans to submit their stories and vote for their favorites.
MLB.com, the official web site of MLB, is accepting fan submissions at www.mlb.com/honorarybatgirl for the online contest that ends on April 13 at Noon ET. Baseball fans can share their stories of inspiration and hope of how they are supporting the fight against breast cancer and why they want to be an Honorary Bat Girl for their favorite MLB Club. Testimonials can be submitted by men and women who are breast cancer survivors, advocates and supporters of the cause. Each Honorary Bat Girl will have an opportunity to take part in pre-game activities, be honored during an on-field ceremony and receive pink MLB merchandise and two tickets to their Club’s Mother’s Day celebration game or another home game in May.
Boston Red Sox All-Star Pitcher John Lackey’s life has been touched by breast cancer. Jake Peavy, All-Star Pitcher for the Chicago White Sox and former National League Cy Young Award Winner, lost his cousin to cancer, but thankfully has had a close friend beat the disease and is an advocate for any cause striving to find a cure for all forms of cancer. CC Sabathia, All-Star Pitcher for the New York Yankees and former American League Cy Young Award Winner, thankfully has not had anyone close to him affected by the disease, but he is also an advocate for a cure for all forms of cancer. Brian Wilson, All-Star Closer for the San Francisco Giants, lost his father to cancer when he was just 17 years old. Wilson dedicates every pitch to his father, who introduced him to baseball as a child, but sadly never got the chance to see him pitch professionally.
“I am honored and ecstatic to be a part of the Honorary Bat Girl program,” said Wilson. “I have seen firsthand what cancer can do to a family with the loss of my father. Any time there is a positive development towards a cure, I am backing it 100%.”
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, a joint effort between MLB, its licensed partners and Komen for the Cure. Last year, more than 1,000 testimonials were submitted and nearly 2.2 million fan votes were cast.
On Mother’s Day (May 9), Major League Baseball and its 30 Clubs, along with Susan G. Komen for the Cure, will celebrate the Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer initiative, which is designed to raise awareness about the breast cancer cause, while also raising funds to support breast cancer research. Hundreds of MLB players will use pink bats by Louisville Slugger, the Official Bat of Major League Baseball, stamped with the MLB pink ribbon logo, and these game-used pink bats will be auctioned off on MLB.com at a later date. 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.