Major League Baseball announced the 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 Pittsburgh Pirates is Cathy McGrath from Charleroi, Pa. McGrath will be recognized in a pregame ceremony on Sunday, May 11, 2014 at PNC Park.
McGrath is one of 30 selected winners, one from each MLB Club, who will take part in pre-game activities by being honored during an on-field ceremony; she will receive pink MLB merchandise, including an honorary Bat Girl jersey and tickets to the game in the Pirates Charities Luxury Suite. McGrath was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1991 and has undergone 30 radiation treatments and six and half years of medication therapy. After her diagnosis, Cathy became heavily involved in spreading breast cancer awareness across the Pittsburgh region. Along with coordinating various fundraisers and awareness luncheons with speakers from Susan G. Komen Pittsburgh, Cathy is a model to those around her by encouraging family and friends to schedule yearly mammograms and perform a regular BSE (breast self-exam).
Fans from across the country and Canada shared inspirational stories that 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.
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.