Mabel Miyasaki is known around Coors Field as "G-ma." At 87, she spends her birthday at Spring Training each year, and is a presence in the stands at Coors Field for as many games a year as she can make. The Longmont, Colo., resident has even introduced young players to the joys of sushi.Her faith and enthusiasm for the Rockies is surpassed only by her love of life. Miyasaki, you see, went in for a checkup, and a biopsy revealed that she had breast cancer. Doctors performed a radical mastectomy, followed by a pins-and-needles five-day wait as a lab had to determine rather the cancer had spread. Luckily it had not. That was 38 years ago. For all that time, "G-ma" Miyasaki has been encouraging women to perform regular self exams. When she shows up at Coors Field, where she is often right by the field during batting practice, she wears pink, purple or some combination to celebrate breast cancer awareness or the Rockies. "G-ma" has been as close to an official bat girl for the Rockies throughout their existence. All the Rockies did was formalize it by naming her their 2012 Honorary Bat Girl as part of Major League Baseball's Mother's Day program to bring breast cancer awareness. The Rockies are on the road this Sunday, and will honor Miyasaki on an alternate occasion.
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. Brittany Ghiroli contributed. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.