This past weekend, in honor of both Mother’s Day and breast cancer awareness, baseball fans across the nation were seeing pink. Various gradients of the rosy hue accented game balls, base pads, and bats used by many of the MLB teams. Every year, as part of the leagues commitment to promote breast cancer awareness, an honorary bat girl is selected on behalf of each team. These women have all been impacted by the disease in some way, and are honored for valiantly “going to bat against breast cancer.” This year, the Padres honored Deputy Chief Lorraine Hutchinson.
Lorraine Hutchinson received her diagnosis in November 2012, and the malignant results of her follow-up mammogram were completely unexpected. Hutchinson has no family history of the disease, so she waited a few months before going in for her second scan. Upon discovering that she was going to be fighting cancer, Hutchinson moved forward with treatment. Throughout her battle, she had a mastectomy, chemotherapy, and reconstructive surgery. Lorraine Hutchinson is now cancer free, and using her story to spread awareness.
Hutchinson emphasizes “I was lucky it wasn’t aggressive and was caught at an early stage…Early detection is a key to survival.” Although she has been with the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department for 24 years, she recently added another important role to her life; “My job is to educate women and share my story.” Becoming an “Honorary Bat Girl” has given Hutchinson the chance to share her story to a bigger audience than she ever imagined. In addition to the opportunity to raise awareness, Lorraine Hutchinson and her family got to watch the Padres beat the Marlins from a luxury suit.
It’s easy to get obsessed with our fantasy drafts, our worry (constantly!) if our team will make the playoffs—but in moments like this, winning goes out the window for a few worthy moments. Players and fans unite for a cause bigger than the scoreboard, and people everywhere are reminded (once again) how dynamic the relationship between fans and players can be. Congratulations, Lorraine!
Julia Randall is casually throwing around the idea of participating in her next marathon this summer. Until then, she plans on enjoying her evening runs in the foothills while keeping an eye on the Padres!