HOUSTON, TX - Earlier this week, Major League Baseball announced the 31 winners of the 2014 Honorary Bat Girl Contest that recognizes baseball fans who have been affected by breast cancer and demonstrate a commitment to eradicating the disease. The winner of the Honorary Bat Girl Contest for the Houston Astros is Tammy Roberts, who will be recognized in a pre-game ceremony at Minute Maid Park on May 16, prior to the Astros-White Sox game at 7:10 p.m.
Tammy is one of each MLB Club's selected winners who will be honored during an on-field ceremony, and will receive pink MLB merchandise and tickets to the game.
During the summer of 2012, Tammy was diagnosed with stage four breast and lymph node cancer. The original prognosis from her doctors was not encouraging. Despite this, Tammy took on her treatments with great strength and courage. To make matters worse, she was not able to take pain medication while undergoing painful treatments due to an allergic reaction. In the Spring of 2013, the cancer spread to her neck, which had to be treated with radiation, which was also extremely painful. The radiation treatments continued throughout 2013.
Despite the pain, Tammy faced this challenge with great strength and courage. She dedicated herself to her 13-year-old son, who played on a competitive baseball team that traveled often. Despite her condition, Tammy never missed a game. Watching her son play baseball provided her moments of escape. Finally, after battling the disease for close to two years, on Feb. 1, 2014, Tammy received the news that she had prevailed over cancer.
Tammy's courageous story, which was submitted by her sister, is one of many that were received by MLB from Fans across the country and Canada. Those inspirational stories provide hope and motivation in the fight against breast cancer, as well as the reasons they or their nominees should represent their favorite team.
The Honorary Bat Girl winners were selected by fan votes on HonoraryBatGirl.com along with feedback from a Guest Judging Panel that included Evan Longoria of the Tampa Bay Rays, Freddie Freeman of the Atlanta Braves, Pablo Sandoval of the San Francisco Giants, country music superstar and Atlanta Braves fan Jason Aldean, and Sam Ryan, MLB Network host and reporter.
On Mother's Day, players and on-field personnel will wear the symbolic pink ribbon on their uniforms along with pink wrist bands. Commemorative base jewels and dugout lineup cards will also be pink. Games will use a pink stitched Rawlings baseball, the official ball of MLB, as the official game day baseball. Numerous MLB players will use pink bats. Pink Louisville Slugger bats, the Official Bat of Major League Baseball, will be stamped with the MLB breast cancer awareness logo. Many of the 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 the fight 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. In five years, thousands of unique testimonials have been submitted and more than 4 million fan votes have been cast. Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer is a Major League Baseball initiative supported by its 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.