© 2013 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.

3/26/2013 4:46 P.M. ET

Major League Baseball launches annual Honorary Bat Girl Contest

Contest Encourages Fans to Share "Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer" Stories for Chance to be Honored On-Field During Mother's Day Celebrations

Major League Baseball today launched the 2013 Honorary Bat Girl Contest that recognizes baseball fans who have been affected by breast cancer and demonstrate a commitment to eradicating the disease. Men and women ages 18 and older are encouraged to share their stories about themselves or loved ones who are "Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer" by visiting www.honorarybatgirl.com for a chance to be recognized on-field by their favorite baseball team on Mother's Day, Sunday, May 12.  Major League Baseball will honor all affected fans on this day by decorating specific equipment and other items with the symbolic pink color.

Fans are invited to share inspirational stories that they or loved ones have or currently are experiencing that provide hope and motivation in the fight against breast cancer.  Additionally, fans will share the reasons they want to represent their favorite team as its Honorary Bat Girl. Entries can be submitted by breast cancer survivors, advocates and/or supporters of the cause beginning today at www.honorarybatgirl.com, a website powered by MLB.com, and will be accepted until the submission period closes on April 22 at 12:01am ET.

During MLB's annual Mother's Day national day of recognition, one Honorary Bat Girl per MLB Club will take part in pre-game activities, be honored during an on-field ceremony and receive pink MLB merchandise with two tickets to the game. For Clubs that are away on Mother's Day, another home game in May will be selected to recognize their Honorary Bat Girl.

A panel of judges including MLB players will help select the winning submissions based on originality, quality of writing, demonstration of commitment to breast cancer awareness and public appeal as determined by online fan votes. Celebrity judges for the 2013 contest will be revealed at a later date.

"Major League Baseball is honored to recognize brave women who show strength in the face of breast cancer, as too many are directly affected by this disease season after season," said Tim Brosnan, Executive Vice President of Business, Major League Baseball. "We are proud that our Honorary Bat Girl program is a part of the fight to eradicate this global disease through onfield awareness and fund-raising, while recognizing some of the strongest and most spirited fans across the country."

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 four years, over 4,000 testimonials have been submitted and more than 10 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 for the Cure. This initiative has set out to raise awareness about the breast cancer cause, while also raising funds to support breast cancer research.

On every Mother's Day since 2006, hundreds of MLB players have used pink bats by Louisville Slugger, the Official Bat of Major League Baseball, stamped with the MLB breast cancer awareness logo. To further demonstrate their support for the breast cancer cause, players and on-field personnel have worn the symbolic pink ribbon on their uniforms along with pink wrist bands. Commemorative dugout lineup cards also have been pink. Game-used Louisville Slugger pink bats from Mother's Day games have been auctioned exclusively on MLB.com to raise funds for the fight against breast cancer.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.