Friday, May 08, 2009
Going To Bat Against Breast Cancer
Awareness, maybe an overused term, but fitting to describe Major League Baseball's Partnership with The Susan G. Koman For The Cure. The high profile of professional teams gives public service work much needed exposure. Community Needs which The Washington Nationals Dream Foundation pushes every single day to achieve. But MLB should also be congratulated for their work to help find a cure for Breast Cancer. For each of the past few seasons, on Mother's Day, players from around both leagues have participated by using pink bats and wearing pink arm bands. Exposure that has been taken to a new level when Major League Baseball and The Susan G. Komen For The Cure joined together for the "Going To Bat Against Breast Cancer" Program.
The latest well thought out twist that will honor 30 Breast Cancer Survivors, half on Mother's Day, Sunday May 10th. This coming Sunday, 15 Breast Cancer Survivors will participate as "Honorary Bat Girls" for their home teams around The Major Leagues. In the upcoming few weeks, those teams playing on the road this weekend, will honor their selected recipient when they each return to play a home game.
Our Washington Nationals winner is Mary Eno, who was diagnosed with Breast Cancer in December, 2007. You can read all the details in the press release below. She is a valiant lady and deserving of the honor. But what needs to be emphasized here is that Our Washington Nationals and Major League Baseball can make a big difference in the lives of others--off the field of play. And it's these efforts they make Sohna and I appreciate all that is Big League Baseball in The Nation's Capital.
It really is more than just than game on the field.
Mary Eno will be honored on Sunday, May 17 at Nationals Park when Our Washington Nationals take on The Philadelphia Phillies.
The Press Release from Major League Baseball and Our Washington Nationals
MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL AND SUSAN G. KOMEN FOR THE CURE ANNOUNCE ‘HONORARY BAT GIRL’ WINNERS FOR 30 CLUBS
Mary Eno Will be Recognized by the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park On May 17, 2009
Major League Baseball (MLB) and Susan G. Komen for the Cure today announced the winners of the ‘Honorary Bat Girl’ contest, a campaign to recognize incredible MLB fans who are going to bat against breast cancer in their daily lives. 15 home Clubs will host their ‘Honorary Bat Girl’ during scheduled Mother’s Day celebrations; visiting Clubs on Mother’s Day will select another date in May to recognize their ‘Honorary Bat Girl.’ The initiative was developed to raise additional awareness and support for the annual ‘Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer’ program, a joint program between MLB and Komen for the Cure, the world’s largest breast cancer organization.
The winner of the ‘Honorary Bat Girl’ contest for the Washington Nationals is Mary Eno. Mary was diagnosed with breast cancer in December of 2007. Determined to beat the disease that had taken her mother 30 years earlier, Mary had a bilateral mastectomy in January of 2008, followed by several months of chemotherapy. Upon realizing that her chemotherapy treatments would begin right around the opening of Nationals Park, Mary worked with her oncologist to ensure she wouldn’t miss Opening Night. A 20-game Season Ticket Holder, Mary was able to attend a few games in 2008, staying for only a few innings each time. Each game she attended made her more determined to win the battle against cancer. She would proudly remove her cap for the National Anthem – even though she had lost her hair. Mary has completed the first phase of reconstruction surgery and hopefully will complete her treatment later this year. She is ready to enjoy the Nationals 2009 season, staying for every pitch and removing her cap to reveal a full head of hair, along with her husband, family and friends who have been so supportive during her battle. Mary’s husband has a tattoo of a pink ribbon, for Mary and everyone who has been affected by this disease, as a reminder to live life one pitch at a time.
The Nationals will honor Mary during a special pregame recognition ceremony on Sunday, May 17 before the team’s 1:35pm game vs. the Philadelphia Phillies. She will have an opportunity to meet with some of the Nationals players and receive an engraved pink bat and jersey from Major League Baseball.
“We are proud to honor these brave and inspiring people who are supporting the fight against breast cancer,” said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. “As a social institution, Major League Baseball is making every attempt to raise awareness about the disease while recognizing the men and
women living with its effects. We salute the ‘Honorary Bat Girls’ as they help us celebrate Mother’s Day in this very special way.”
“Major League Baseball’s involvement and support over the years has been vital in enabling us to move forward in our promise to save lives and end breast cancer forever,” said Katrina McGhee, vice president, global partnerships at Komen for the Cure. “All of the ‘Honorary Bat Girls’ and Contest participants are a living testament to the power of one person making a difference and inspiring others to take action.”
On April 14, MLB and Susan G. Komen for the Cure launched an online search to find an ‘Honorary Bat Girl’ for each Club. Fans from across the country have been sharing their stories of inspiration and hope and how they are supporting the fight against breast cancer. More than 1,000 testimonials were submitted online at MLB.com, the official website of Major League Baseball, by breast cancer survivors, advocates and supporters of the cause, and one winner per Club was selected by a panel of judges and nearly 2.2 million fan votes.
On Mother's Day (May 10, 2009), hundreds of Major League Baseball players will use pink bats produced by Louisville Slugger, the Official Bat of Major League Baseball, stamped with the MLB breast cancer logo. Many players also will wear pink wristbands and the symbolic pink ribbon for breast cancer awareness will be displayed on player uniforms, as well as on all on-field personnel. Dugout lineup cards also will be pink. In addition to promotional support, Major League Baseball Charities has committed $50,000 to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
Game-used Louisville Slugger pink bats will be auctioned off on MLB.com at a later date to raise additional funds for Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Fans can purchase their own personalized pink bat at MLB.com or www.slugger.com, with $10 from the sale of each bat benefiting Komen for the Cure.
One player from each Club will be a representative on Mother’s Day, and most have personally experienced the effects breast cancer and other cancers have had on their families. These players include Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim P Jered Weaver (mother survived breast cancer), Houston Astros 1B Lance Berkman (aunt survived breast cancer) and Baltimore Orioles OF Nick Markakis (mother survived breast cancer).
Several MLB players and MLB Network talent were part of a celebrity panel that took part in voting for ‘Honorary Bat Girl’ winners. New York Yankees 1B/OF Nick Swisher is an advocate of fighting all forms of cancer, and in 2007, grew his hair out to donate it to create free wigs for women dealing with hair loss from cancer treatment. Today, Swisher continues to participate in the on-field activities of MLB’s “Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer.” MLB Network analyst Mitch Williams’ mother survived breast cancer, and he is involved in helping charities associated with the disease. MLB Network analyst Dan Plesac’s mother recently was diagnosed with breast cancer. Berkman and Markakis also were part of the celebrity panel.
Major League Baseball Health Initiatives
The Mother's Day “Going To Bat Against Breast Cancer” program is one of several cancer-related initiatives supported by Major League Baseball. Other initiatives include Stand Up To Cancer, an organization whose mission is to establish and fund focused and intense cancer research in an effort to effect cancer advances as rapidly as possible through a new and unique funding scientific funding model; the Prostate Cancer Foundation Home Run Challenge which helps increase awareness of prostate cancer and raise money towards the search for a cure as part of Major League Baseball Father's Day activities; the “One A Day Men’s presents MLB Strikeout Prostate Cancer Challenge” is a joint initiative between MLB and Bayer HealthCare’s One A Day Multivitamins, who donate $10 for every strikeout thrown throughout the regular and postseason to the Prostate Cancer Foundation; and Play Sun Smart, a league-wide, season-long skin cancer awareness program in conjunction with the Major League Baseball Players Association and the American Academy of Dermatology.
About Susan G. Komen for the Cure
Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. In 1982, that promise became Susan G. Komen for the Cure and launched the global breast cancer movement. Today, Komen for the Cure is the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists fighting to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures. Thanks to events like the Komen Race for the Cure, we have invested more than $1.3 billion to fulfill our promise, becoming the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer in the world. For more information about Susan G. Komen for the Cure, breast health or breast cancer, visit www.komen.org or call 1-877 GO KOMEN.