Mariners select 2013 honorary bat girl

PITTSBURGH -- Major League Baseball on Wednesday announced the 30 winners of the 2013 Honorary Bat Girl Contest, which recognizes baseball fans who have been affected by breast cancer and demonstrate a commitment to eradicating the disease. The 30 winners, one per MLB club, will be recognized on the field at Major League ballparks on Mother's Day this Sunday, or an alternative date for away teams.

Fans across the country shared inspirational stories that provide hope and motivation in the fight against breast cancer, as well as the reasons they or their nominees should represent their favorite team.

The Mariners' honorary bat girl is Kimberly Fugere. She was born with one-fourth of her brain damaged after suffering an intrauteral stoke, and she also has cerebral palsy. The doctors told her she wouldn't walk or talk, and they said she should be institutionalized.

She stepped to the plate and proved them all wrong. She grew up to get a college degree, marry and have two children.

George Von Benko is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.