Courageous Dodger fan chosen as Honorary Bat Girl
Eight months into her fight against cancer, Houston resident Melissa Stockhoff received quite a dose of positivity. She was informed that she will represent her team — the Dodgers — as its Honorary Bat Girl on Friday. She will be recognized on the field and throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
Major League Baseball annually recognizes baseball fans who have been affected by breast cancer and who demonstrate a commitment to supporting the fight against the disease. Scott Kazmir served as a guest judge and helped select Stockhoff.
Stockhoff, 34 and the mother of three young children, was diagnosed in September with breast cancer, which spread to her lymph nodes under her arm. She finished chemotherapy in March and still faces a long road to recovery.
Stockhoff and her husband Andrew, an Army veteran who served five years and was deployed to Afghanistan, married in 2007 and made a stop at Dodger Stadium as part of their honeymoon.
Andrew told her story on honorarybatgirl.com.
“There’s no question that the cancer treatment has already taken a heavy physical and emotional toll on Melissa,” he said. “My heart breaks when I see her heart breaking because she feels, at times, that she cannot take care of our children in the way that she would like. Yet all of us (family and friends) continue to be amazed at how she has fought through this trial with such courage, patience and optimism.
“I am lucky to have her as my wife, and our kids are lucky to have her as their mother. Our 9-year anniversary is this June, and the Dodgers and Dodger Stadium hold a special place in our hearts. We attended a Dodgers game on our honeymoon, and the whole family bleeds Dodger Blue.”
The Honorary Bat Girl program is part of a widespread Major League Baseball initiative called “Going to Bat Against Cancer” to raise awareness and funds for the fight against breast cancer.