HOUSTON -- Angels fan and Southern California resident Nancy Oshiro was named winner of the Angels' Honorary Bat Girl Contest, which recognizes baseball fans who have been affected by breast cancer and demonstrate a commitment to eradicating the disease.
The Angels are in Chicago during Mother's Day on Sunday, wrapping up a series against the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field. So Oshiro will be honored prior to Monday's game against the Royals at Angel Stadium, where she'll take part in pregame activities, be part of an on-field ceremony and receive several prizes -- a customized jersey, a certificate signed by Commissioner Bud Selig, pink MLB merchandise and four tickets to that night's game.
Each of the 30 Major League teams designate an Honorary Bat Girl based on an essay contest, which is voted on by fans at HonoraryBatGirl.com and also by a Guest Judging Panel that includes CC Sabathia (Yankees), Matt Kemp (Dodgers), Andrew McCutchen (Pirates) and Alex Gordon (Royals).
In 2012, Oshiro underwent a mammogram that revealed a tumor the size of a walnut. After several followup tests and biopsies, she was diagnosed with Stage 2 breast cancer.
"This, by far, has been the hardest thing ever, but the game is not over yet," Oshiro, who attended an Angels game the night before her first chemotherapy, said in her Honorary Bat Girl Contest essay. "Soon, I'll have a victory and we can light up the Halo."
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 four years, over 4,000 testimonials have been submitted and more than 10 million fan votes have been cast.
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.