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Angels honor 'Momma Anne' on Mother's Day

MLB clubs wear pink to support breast cancer initiatives
MLB.com

ANAHEIM -- Anne Fleck, her husband and their two daughters have made the roughly 10-mile trip from Yorba Linda to Anaheim countless times throughout their lives. They grew up, as a family, on trips to Angel Stadium. Now, one daughter, Ashley Fleck, is a sponsorship services coordinator for the club. The Angels have been, and literally are, family to the elder Fleck, who is affectionately referred to as Momma Anne by loved ones.

It is that Angels family that was a part of her support system when, last August, after a routine mammogram, Momma Anne discovered she had breast cancer.

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ANAHEIM -- Anne Fleck, her husband and their two daughters have made the roughly 10-mile trip from Yorba Linda to Anaheim countless times throughout their lives. They grew up, as a family, on trips to Angel Stadium. Now, one daughter, Ashley Fleck, is a sponsorship services coordinator for the club. The Angels have been, and literally are, family to the elder Fleck, who is affectionately referred to as Momma Anne by loved ones.

It is that Angels family that was a part of her support system when, last August, after a routine mammogram, Momma Anne discovered she had breast cancer.

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"I didn't have any signs or symptoms," Fleck said. "It was shocking because I don't have any family history -- my grandmother had ovarian cancer, but I didn't know anybody [in the family] with breast cancer."

Tweet from @Angels: We're honored to have breast cancer survivor, Momma Anne, as our Honorary Bat Girl on this #MothersDay! pic.twitter.com/AFTm1ZMlFq

The sudden nature of her diagnosis has motivated her to become an advocate for women to get routine checkups to ensure early detection. She hopes to get more involved with Susan G. Komen, which hosted a three-day, 60-mile walk in 2016 that her daughter Ashley took part in. Fleck's early detection prevented her from having to conduct chemotherapy or radiation treatment as part of her recovery, which required just a surgery, then consistent monitoring. Fleck, an occupational therapist for children with special needs, is now in remission, and feeling great.

"I was really pretty lucky because I found out about it just through a routine screening," Fleck said. "I'm just so blessed that I've had such good care.

"It was shocking to me, but fortunately I've had really great doctors and I've had a lot of testing but I'm feeling great, and I'm just feeling so lucky that it all worked out so well."

Fleck was honored as the Angels' Honorary Bat Girl before Sunday's game against the Twins at Angel Stadium as part of MLB's annual "Going To Bat Against Cancer" initiative, an effort to raise awareness and funds to fight breast cancer. All players in MLB wore hats with a pink crown and donned pink ribbons on their jerseys in honor of the event. Martin Maldonado wore pink catcher's gear, while Luis Valbuena and Kole Calhoun rocked pink shoes. Pink sleeves and wristbands littered the diamond. Justin Upton, Albert Pujols and Valbuena used pink bats. The proceeds of all sales of this year's Mother's Day merchandise will help go to Susan G. Komen and the Stand Up 2 Cancer foundation, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year.

Mother's Day gear in Angels shop

While Fleck felt "very spoiled" and "very lucky" for the honor, she felt a similar excitement for the man toeing the rubber on the afternoon of her occasion -- Shohei Ohtani.

"I'm so tickled that he is pitching today," Fleck said. "I love him. He is so fabulous, he is so talented, and yet so humble. It's been a fabulous season to watch him and see him grow. ... He's going to be a legend."

Video: MIN@LAA: Angels honor mothers on special day

Worth noting
Mike Trout received the day off on Sunday for rest. He did enter in the seventh inning, striking out as a pinch-hitter and remaining in the game at center field. It was his first day out of the starting lineup this year.

Matt Shoemaker will travel to Missouri on Tuesday to see a peripheral nerve specialist. Shoemaker made one start this season before hitting the disabled list with a strained right forearm, which has kept him sidelined ever since. A recent setback necessitated him to visit a specialist.

Blake Wood will make a rehab assignment with Class A Advanced Inland Empire on Monday. He has been on the disabled list since April 21 with a right elbow impingement.

Avery Yang is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Angels