SAN FRANCISCO -- Jennifer Solorio felt thrilled Sunday to receive the opportunity to watch the Giants take batting practice from field level. "Overwhelmed," she said. But Solorio remained keenly aware that she was at AT&T Park as more than a spectator, though she has rooted for the Giants for 12 years. As the Giants' winner of the 2011 Honorary Bat Girl Contest, Solorio knew that she figuratively shared her privileged perch feet away from the batting cage with scores of other women and their families. "I'm really honored to be selected among the thousands of women who submitted their stories and represent all the survivors out there," said Solorio, a one-year survivor of breast cancer.
The Honorary Bat Girl Contest is a campaign to recognize baseball fans who have been affected by breast cancer and have demonstrated a commitment to fighting the disease. Solorio is an active volunteer with the Sacramento affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the world's largest organization fighting breast cancer, and she serves as co-chair for the city's Survivors Committee Race for the Cure 2011. "For MLB to bring awareness by having players use pink bats and wear pink wristbands -- as a survivor, it's great to see that support of bringing awareness to the cause to find a cure, to bring awareness to women for early screening," said Solorio, 33, who was among 30 Honorary Bat Girl winners, one for each Major League team. The 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. Giants players did their part on Mother's Day. Six members of the lineup used pink bats in the game against the Colorado Rockies: Freddy Sanchez, Mike Fontenot, Buster Posey, Cody Ross, Miguel Tejada and Eli Whiteside. All have been habitual pink bat users except Posey, who played in his first Mother's Day game. Among them, they went 2-for-18 with the pink bats. Fortunately for the Giants, both hits belonged to Ross, who drilled a fourth-inning RBI single and a sixth-inning, two-run homer. "I finally got a hit with it," Ross said. "I'd have to look it up. I don't think I've ever gotten a hit with it." For Fontenot, this was no obligatory tribute. His mother-in-law, Rose Marie Fife, is a breast cancer survivor.
"We all like to show people that we care," Fontenot said."It's a great thing that MLB does to make people aware that we care, think about and support moms and breast-cancer awareness," said Ross.