Major League Baseball has announced the 2019 Honorary Bat Girls for each MLB Club in support of the annual “Going To Bat Against Breast Cancer” initiative, which is traditionally commemorated each Mother’s Day.
Clubs had the opportunity to hand-select their respective honorees, each of whom demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to the battle against breast cancer.
The Honorary Bat Girl for the New York Yankees is Orisel Bejaran from Washington Heights, N.Y. She will be recognized during a pre-game ceremony prior to the Yankees’ 6:35 p.m. game vs. the Seattle Mariners on Thursday, May 9.
Orisel is a lifelong Yankees fan and breast cancer survivor. She was diagnosed with Stage 2 HER2+ breast cancer in 2018 at the age of 31, and decided to tackle it head-on by immediately going to NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center to meet with Drs. Lisa Weichmann and Melissa Accordino. Unfortunately, she is not the first member of her family to battle cancer, as her mom and three of her aunts are also survivors. ‘Ori’ found that watching her Yankees play - whether at the stadium or on TV - brought much needed comfort and joy, and she has no doubts that watching her favorite team helped her heal much faster. This, along with perseverance, a good sense of humor, a positive disposition and the support she found at NYP/Columbia, helped Ori beat her cancer, and in six months, nonetheless.
For the first time since the Honorary Bat Girl program’s inception in 2009, MLB has partnered with CrowdRise to host a fundraising contest for each of the Honorary Bat Girls to raise money to benefit Stand up to Cancer (SU2C) and Susan G. Komen. The winner of the contest will receive a trip to the 2019 World Series. MLB will donate all funds from the contest to SU2C and Komen.
In a tradition that began in 2006, players will continue to swing pink bats and sport pink wristbands through the “Going To Bat Against Breast Cancer” initiative, which is intended to raise awareness and, through donations and auction proceeds, funds to fight breast cancer. In recognition of this effort on Mother’s Day, players also will wear specially designed New Era caps highlighted by a pink crown and team color brim, while Club uniforms will feature the MLB breast cancer awareness logo, adorned with the symbolic pink ribbon, on the left chest. A matching pair of pink socks made by Stance is optional for every player. MLB players will continue to have the opportunity to use pink bats during Mother’s Day games. Louisville Slugger, the Official Bat of Major League Baseball, will donate proceeds from the sale of their pink bats, which will also be stamped with the MLB breast cancer awareness logo, to Komen and SU2C.
In addition to the pink bats on Mother’s Day, the following game equipment can be used for breast cancer awareness: compression sleeves, batting gloves, footwear, wrist/elbow/leg guards, and catcher’s equipment. The pink ribbon will also appear on the bases at each ballpark and the official dugout lineup cards. MLB will donate 100% of its royalties from sales of licensed apparel with the MLB pink ribbon logo to Stand Up To Cancer and Susan G. Komen.
About Honorary Bat Girl Program & Going To Bat Against Breast Cancer:
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 celebrated on Mother's Day. Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer is a Major League Baseball initiative supported by MLB charitable partners, Stand Up To Cancer and Susan G. Komen. This initiative raises awareness about the breast cancer cause, while also raising funds to support breast cancer research. For more information, please visit HonoraryBatGirl.com.