The Orioles are teaming up with Major League Baseball in support of the ninth annual Honorary Bat Girl Contest - an initiative that celebrates the stories of fans who are “going to bat against breast cancer.” The club invites Orioles fans to join in spreading awareness and support for the breast cancer cause by voting in the contest to determine who will be this year’s Honorary Bat Girl for a game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Voting begins today and will continue through Wednesday, April 12, at 4:59 p.m. ET, at www.HonoraryBatGirl.com. All fans 18 and over are encouraged to submit stories and nominate individuals who are “going to bat against breast cancer.” The winner, as chosen by fans, will be honored on the field at the game on Friday, May 19, when the Orioles host the Toronto Blue Jays at 7:05 p.m. The winner will also receive two tickets to the game, a Louisville Slugger Pink Bat engraved with the winner’s name, the opportunity to throw out the ceremonial first pitch, a commemorative package including a jersey, pink wrist bands and pink decals, and a chance to watch batting practice from the field. Winning submissions are 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). Orioles pitcher Kevin Gausman will again serve as the club’s representative and will help to determine the finalists. Gausman’s maternal grandmother passed away after fighting a brave battle with breast cancer.
Last season, Crystal Silins was named the Orioles Honorary Bat Girl. Silins, a breast cancer fighter who resides in Norfolk, Va., threw out the ceremonial first pitch at Oriole Park on Mother’s Day in 2016. At that time, she had already endured a bilateral mastectomy, more than a year of various chemotherapy treatments, six weeks of radiation and nine surgeries since being diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2013.
The Honorary Bat Girl Contest, a league-wide initiative that began in 2009, was developed to raise additional awareness and support for the annual “Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer” program, a joint program between Major League Baseball and Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the world’s largest breast cancer organization. The initiative raises awareness about breast cancer while also raising funds to support breast cancer research.