Nats Honorary Bat Girl Winner

Posted by Cheryl Nichols | 5/10/2011 02:17:00 AM | , , , , | 0 comments »

Press Release:


2011 Winners selected by celebrity panel and more than a half-million fan votes on

The Washington Nationals joined Major League Baseball® and Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, the world’s largest breast cancer organization, to announce Olney, Md., resident Cathy Colleli as the Nationals winner for the 2011 Honorary Bat Girl Contest, a campaign to recognize baseball fans who have been affected by breast cancer and demonstrated a commitment to fighting the disease.

Cathy served as a caregiver for her sister Sheri, who lost her battle with breast cancer in 2004. Since losing her sister, Cathy and her family have honored Sheri’s memory by supporting various cancer advocacy organizations, including Race for the Cure. In August 2009, Cathy was diagnosed with breast cancer herself, and now, as a cancer survivor, continues to fight the disease as a member of the Olney Relay for Life committee. She is also a participant in the Sister Study, which examines environmental and genetic risk factors for breast cancer.

Cathy will be recognized on the field and receive a special bat and Nationals jersey prior to the game against the Florida Marlins on Sunday, May 15.

“Cathy’s caregiver-to-survivor story clearly resonated with the selection committee,” Nationals Community Relations Director Israel Negron said. “She has been so deeply affected by this terrible disease, yet she continues to do what she can to make a difference. It’s truly inspiring to see her channel her energy into fighting breast cancer at so many different levels.”

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 three years, nearly 4,000 testimonials have been submitted and more than six million fan votes have been cast. Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer is a joint partnership between MLB, its licensed partners and Susan G. Komen for the Cure to raise awareness about the breast cancer cause, while also raising funds to support breast cancer research.

Cathy is one of the thirty winners, one for each MLB Club. She was among more than 1,500 entrants that were selected by more than a half-million fan votes on, a website powered by, and a panel of celebrity judges that included Mrs. Billye Aaron, breast cancer survivor, Komen Global Ambassador for breast cancer and wife of Baseball Hall of Famer Hank Aaron; Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker, breast cancer survivor and Founder and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure; Gabrielle Union, actress, co-survivor and supporter of the cause; Jon Lester, Boston Red Sox All-Star Pitcher and lymphoma survivor; Jered Weaver, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim All-Star Pitcher whose mother is a breast cancer survivor; Jim Thome, Five-time All-Star and Minnesota Twins Designated Hitter whose mother passed away from lung cancer; Suzyn Waldman, New York Yankees radio broadcaster and breast cancer survivor; and Mitch Williams, MLB Network analyst whose late mother had breast cancer.