Local Phillies Fan Named Honorary Bat Girl

Catherine Leettola from Lansdale, Pa. will be honored for her inspirational fight against breast cancer on Friday, May 26, at Citizens Bank Park

May 22nd, 2017

Local Lansdale, Pa. resident Catherine Leettola, who received a life-changing diagnosis of HER2-positive breast cancer in March 2017 following a diagnosis of stage 1 ovarian cancer in January 2017, is making a difference when it comes to "Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer" and, as a result, will be recognized on the field as the Phillies Honorary Bat Girl on Friday, May 26, before that night's 7:05 p.m. game against the Cincinnati Reds at Citizens Bank Park.

Leettola is receiving this honor after being selected as the Phillies winner for Major League Baseball's 2017 Honorary Bat Girl contest, which recognizes baseball fans who have been affected by breast cancer and who demonstrate a commitment to supporting the fight against the disease. Phillies pitcher Jerad Eickhoff served as a member of the guest judging panel for the contest. Read Leettola's story here.

"Catherine Leettola is an inspiration when it comes to 'Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer'," said Mary Ann Moyer, Phillies Director of Community Initiatives. "Her positive approach to dealing with two cancer diagnosis' in such a short time and her dedication to spreading awareness is incredible. We are honored that she is sharing her courageous battle with us, and we look forward to honoring Catherine on May 26 as she represents countless others who have fought and continue to fight for their lives."

During the Honorary Bat Girl contest entry timeline, fans from across the United States and Canada shared how they, or their loved ones, support the cause to raise awareness and find a cure for breast cancer. The winners were selected by a panel of judges, including special guests, who chose the winning submissions based on the following criteria: quality of writing and description of personal connection to breast cancer, demonstration of commitment to the battle against the disease and public appeal (as determined by online fan votes).

Special guests judges included the following: Uzo Aduba, Emmy Award-winning star of the hit Netflix series Orange Is the New Black and Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) ambassador, Brenda Song, star of CBS drama Pure Genius and SU2C ambassador, as well as breast cancer survivors Holly Rowe and Shelley Smith of ESPN, MLB' Network's Kelly Nash & Chris Rose, and Lindsay Berra & Alyson Footer of MLB.com.

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, which was celebrated this past Mother's Day. In nine years, thousands of unique testimonials have been submitted and millions of fan votes have been cast. "Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer" is a Major League Baseball initiative supported by MLB charitable partners, Stand Up To Cancer and Susan G. Komen. This initiative raises awareness about the breast cancer cause, while also raising funds to support breast cancer research.

For more information, please visit HonoraryBatGirl.com.