Cancer survivor the Honorary Bat Girl in Miami
Raising funds for research, West part of Mother's Day celebration
MIAMI -- Gale West was given an extra treat on Sunday afternoon.
Along with being an Honorary Bat Girl, the breast cancer survivor went out to the mound prior to the Marlins-Mets game at Marlins Park, accompanied by Logan Morrison, who lost his father to lung cancer.
It was all part of Major League Baseball's Mother's Day tradition of "Going to Bat" in the fight against breast cancer. Through her efforts, she's raised more than $1,000 for research.
West was the winner of the Honorary Bat Girl Contest for the Marlins. In 1998, she lost her mother to breast cancer.
"As a lifetime fan of baseball, I am thrilled and so grateful that MLB has been such a strong voice in creating awareness," she said in a statement.
In September 2001, West was diagnosed with breast cancer. In October 2011, she celebrated being 10 years cancer free.
Each winner was selected by a Guest Judging Panel that includes MLB players and celebrities, in addition to fan votes cast on HonoraryBatGirl.com.
Before the game, West was given a special Miami Marlins jersey, and she met manager Ozzie Guillen, players and coaches.
Whenever possible, she does her part in raising awareness about the serious nature of the disease. She encourages the importance of yearly mammograms and self-exams.
Keeping with the pink theme of Mother's Day, Marlins players Omar Infante, Austin Kearns, Giancarlo Stanton and Emilio Bonifacio used pink bats. Stanton and Bonifacio had three hits apiece, including Stanton's walk-off grand slam.
"It is fantastic to know that when the players swing their pink bats and wear their pink gear on game day, they are sending a powerful message to their fans everywhere; truly going to bat against breast cancer," West said.