The Los Angeles Angels will honor Cypress High School science teacher and coach Susan Fried as their honorary bat girl for Sunday’s interleague game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Angel Stadium.
Each of the 30 Major League Baseball teams selects an honorary bat girl in support of its annual effort each Mother’s Day to highlight extraordinary efforts to support the fight against breast cancer.
Fried has been teaching for 23 years. Her students have included Angels infielder David Fletcher and Mandi Ortiz, the team’s entertainment coordinator. Ortiz nominated Fried to be the team’s honorary bat girl.
Fried was diagnosed with breast cancer in September. She invited her students and the community to join in her battle, posting updates on social media and around the city. Her message to women was to self-check and follow up on questions they have with a doctor.
Fried learned in the winter the tumor was continuing to grow and for her birthday, Dec. 29, she asked her doctor for the only gift that mattered — to remove the tumor.
Fried underwent double mastectomy surgery on her birthday to remove the tumor. Follow-up appointments have shown clear margins and she continues her chemotherapy treatments to make certain the cancer hasn’t traveled to other parts of her body.
MLB began the honorary bat girl program in 2009 to support the annual “Going To Bat Against Breast Cancer” initiative, which is commemorated on Mother’s Day and seeks to raise awareness and funds to fight breast cancer.
During games on Mother’s Day since 2006, players wear specially designed pink caps. Uniforms feature the MLB breast cancer awareness logo, with the symbolic pink ribbon, on the left chest.
A matching pair of pink socks is optional for every player.
Many players will use pink bats. Pink Louisville Slugger bats will be stamped with the MLB breast cancer awareness logo. Players can also wear pink batting gloves, footwear, wrist/elbow/leg guards and catcher’s equipment.
Louisville Slugger will donate proceeds from the sale of the pink bats to Susan G. Komen and Stand Up To Cancer.
The pink ribbon will also appear on the bases at each stadium and the official dugout lineup cards. MLB will donate all of its royalties from sales of licensed apparel with the MLB pink ribbon logo to Stand Up To Cancer and Susan G. Komen.
Stand Up to Cancer is an effort to accelerate innovative cancer research that will get new therapies to patients quickly.
Susan G. Komen describes itself as the world’s largest nonprofit source of funding for the fight against breast cancer.