Honorary Bat Girl Jennifer Buckland throws the first pitch at Sunday’s game

Jennifer Buckland of Willoughby was selected as the Indians 2018 Honorary Bat Girl and was recognized before the game at Progressive Field on Mother’s Day.

Buckland threw the ceremonial first pitch and had the opportunity to meet Evan Marshall, Dan Otero and Yonder Alonso before the game.

MLB’s annual Honorary Bat Girl Contest is hosted annually in support of the “Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer” initiative and recognizes baseball fans who have been affected by breast cancer and who demonstrate a commitment to supporting the fight against the disease.

For the first time since the Honorary Bat Girl program’s inception, Clubs had the opportunity to hand select their respective honorees, each of whom have demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to battling breast cancer.

A physical therapist at Cleveland Clinic Euclid Hospital, Buckland was diagnosed with breast cancer after receiving her first-ever mammogram at age 40. She underwent a mastectomy with immediate DIEP tissue reconstruction, followed by a 12-week regimen of chemotherapy.

Buckland was selected to participate in a research study that provided early-stage breast cancer patients with the opportunity to wear a cooling cap during chemo treatment to prevent hair loss. By participating in the cooling cap research study, she opened up the possibility for other cancer survivors to prevent hair loss. The results of this research have been published, and the cooling cap is now recognized as an FDA-approved device.

Buckland has also provided support to other breast cancer survivors who may be interested in preventing hair loss. Now, she is proudly living life cancer-free with a full head of hair and is training for the upcoming Cleveland Half-Marathon!

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.

Since 2006, players have swung pink bats, worn pink ribbon decals and sported pink wristbands through the “Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer” initiative, which is intended to raise awareness and, through donations and auction proceeds, funds to fight breast cancer. MLB will again donate its licensed uniform royalties through Mother’s Day apparel to Susan G. Komen and Stand Up to Cancer.

“Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer” is a MLB initiative supported by MLB charitable partners, Stand Up to Cancer and Susan G. Komen. This initiative raises awareness about breast cancer causes, while also raising funds to support breast cancer research.

For more information, visit HonoraryBatGirl.com.

— TribeVibe Contributor Hanna Moore; Photos by Dan Mendlik


Honorary Bat Girl Jennifer Buckland throws the first pitch at Sunday’s game was originally published in TribeVibe on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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