Tigers name honorary bat girl for Mother's Day

WASHINGTON -- The Tigers will take part in Major League Baseball's Mother's Day salute on Sunday by honoring Tracie Kania as their honorary bat girl for the day, recognizing her fight against breast cancer and her work to help find a cure over the last several years.

Kania was diagnosed five years ago with IIIB inflammatory breast cancer at age 32, and underwent 33 radiation sessions over 27 weeks of chemotherapy. With the support of family and friends, she made it through, and has tried to give back while sharing her story. She's a representative for the Race for the Cure, benefitting Komen for a Cure, a fundraiser for The American Cancer Society's Relay for Life, and a participant in Bras for a Cause, supporting Gilda's Club of Metro Detroit.

In addition to game tickets for Sunday's game and a pregame ceremony alongside fellow breast cancer survivors, Kania will throw out the ceremonial first pitch. She'll also receive a special honorary bat girl jersey to go with a special pink-stitched Rawlings baseball and a certificate of recognition from Commissioner Bud Selig.

Kania was chosen among numerous inspirational stories of survival submitted and voted upon by fans at HonoraryBatGirl.com. In addition, a celebrity judging panel included Major League stars CC Sabathia, Matt Kemp, Andrew McCutchen and Alex Gordon, Extra TV reporter Maria Menounos and MLB Network's Sam Ryan.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.