Results tagged ‘ Louisville Slugger ’

Yanks’ Honorary Bat Girl: Rebecca Doolen

Major League Baseball announced Monday the winners of the 2015 Honorary Bat Girl contest, which recognizes baseball fans who have been affected by breast cancer and who demonstrate a commitment to eradicating the disease.

The Honorary Bat Girl for the Yankees is Rebecca Doolen of Utica, N.Y., who will be recognized in an on-field ceremony Sunday at Yankee Stadium before the Yankees-Orioles game.

Doolen, 43, a mother of four, has been battling stage IV metastatic breast cancer since she was diagnosed last year. An avid Yankees fan, Rebecca has used her love for baseball to maintain a sense of normalcy for herself and her family. On top of raising her children and battling cancer, she has stayed active in her community and has made time to fundraise for breast cancer awareness and research by participating in the walk hosted by “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.”

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. In seven years, thousands of unique testimonials have been submitted and more than two million fan votes have been cast. Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer is a Major League Baseball initiative supported by MLB charitable partners, Stand Up To Cancer and Susan G. Komen. This initiative raises awareness about the breast cancer cause, while also raising funds to support breast cancer research.

On Mother’s Day, players and on-field personnel will wear the symbolic pink ribbon on their uniforms along with pink wrist bands. Commemorative base jewels and dugout lineup cards also will be pink. Games will feature a pink-stitched Rawlings baseball, the official ball of MLB, as the official game ball. Many MLB players also will use pink bats, and pink Louisville Slugger bats, MLB’s official bat, will be stamped with the MLB breast cancer awareness logo. Many authenticated, game-used Louisville Slugger pink bats from Mother’s Day games will be auctioned exclusively on MLB.com to benefit the fight against breast cancer.

Louisville Slugger retires Jeter’s bat model P72

What Louisville Slugger did to honor Derek Jeter Wednesday was unprecedented in the 130-year history of the company that is the official bat maker of Major League Baseball. The manufacturers announced that it is retiring Jeter’s model P72.

James Sass, director of professional baseball sales for the company based in Louisville, Ky., said, “Derek has swung one bat model from one bat company his entire career. He has made more than 12,500 plate appearances in his 20 MLB seasons, and every single one of them has been with a Louisville Slugger P72. With Derek’s impending retirement, we thought it was fitting to retire his bat model in recognition of his brilliant career.We are grateful for his enduring and unwavering loyalty. In honor of Derek’s tremendous career and impact, we won’t be making the P72 anymore.”

Company officials surprised the Captain with their decision in a presentation of “The Last P72” before Wednesday’s Yankees-Orioles game at Yankee Stadium.

The P72 has been one of the more popular models with players over the decades. In addition to Jeter, who ranks sixth on the all-time career hits list, it has been swung by Hall of Famers Cal Ripken Jr. and Robin Yount, among others.

The specifications of the P72, with its medium barrel and balanced swing weight, will still exist for players to order, but under a new model name. It will be called the DJ2 in recognition of Jeter’s and his career. There is one potential exception where Louisville Slugger could use the P72 name on bats again;the company says it will invoke a grandfather clause to use P72 for any descendent of the player the bat was originally made: Les Pinkham

In addition to retiring the P72 model number, Louisville Slugger will give the final 72 P72 bats to be produced to Jeter to raise funds for his Turn 2 Foundation, which he founded in his rookie season.

“We know how much Derek’s Turn 2 Foundation means to him, so we wanted to do something significant to help the organization as it works to positively impact young lives,” Sass said. “So we’re giving Derek the last 72 of his P72’s to use for Turn 2. These bats will be amazing collectors’ items and should help raise a lot of money for his foundation.”

Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory will purchase back the first of the final 72 bats to exhibit in its main gallery in Louisville. The museum provided a check for $5,000 to the Turn 2 Foundation.

Jeter ordered 33.5-inch, 31-ounce P72 model bats in 1995 and 1996. He went to a longer and heavier 34-inch, 32-ounce model P72 Louisville Slugger in 1997 and has stayed with it ever since. In his 20-season career, Jeter has ordered more than 2,500 P72 model Louisville Slugger bats.

Previous players who swung the P72 in addition to Ripken and Yount, both former two-time American League Most Valuable Players (Yount in 1982 & ’89, Ripken in 1983 & ’91), include another two-time AL MVP Juan Gonzalez (1996 & ’98), 1999 AL MVP Ivan Rodriguez, 1977 National League MVP George Foster, 1982 World Series MVP Darrell Porter, Yankees bench coach and former catcher Tony Pena, Athletics general manager and former outfielder Billy Beane, as well as Andy Van Slyke, Gary Gaetti, Glenn Hubbard, Jose Cruz, Mike Easler, Sandy Alomar Jr., Von Hayes, Nomar Garciaparra and two of Jeter’s closest friends, Gerald Williams and Harold Reynolds.

Orioles second baseman Kelly Johnson, who was a teammate of Jeter with the Yankees this season until he was traded in July, used a P72 model bat when he homered Tuesday night at the Stadium.

Louisville Slugger created the P72 in 1954 for Leslie Wayne Pinkham, a minor league player from Elizabethtown, Ky., who was playing Triple A baseball in Columbus, Ohio. The “P” denotes the first letter of Pinkham’s last name. “72” means Pinkham was the 72nd pro player whose last name started with “P” for whom Louisville Slugger made a specific model bat, thus the “P72.” His son, Bill Pinkham, also used his father’s bat model when he was a player in the Reds organization.

Louisville Slugger presented Jeter with a special award to commemorate the retiring of the P72 model number. The award features the last P72 ever made for Jeter. These are the words engraved on the award presented to Jeter:

THE LAST P72
Louisville Slugger® created the P72 model in 1954 for Leslie Wayne Pinkham. It became one of professional baseball’s most popular bats.

Derek Jeter swung a Louisville Slugger P72 for every plate appearance he made over his 20-season MLB career.

In honor of the Yankee Captain’s retirement, and in acknowledgement of his unwavering loyalty, Louisville Slugger officially retires the P72 at the conclusion of the 2014 MLB season, 60 years after it was created.

The Derek Jeter signature model bat mounted here is the last P72.

Danya Varano, Honorary Bat Girl

Dayna Varano, the Yankees’ winner of the Honorary Bat Girl Contest, will be honored Thursday night when the team concludes a three-game series against the Royals at Yankee Stadium. A cancer patient from Wayne, N.J., Dayna will be the Yankees’ on-field guest during batting practice and assist in the delivery of the lineup card to the plate prior to throwing out the game’s ceremonial first pitch.

Major League Baseball and Susan G. Komen for the Cure, the world’s largest breast cancer organization, announced the winners of the 2011 Honorary Bat Girl Contest, a campaign to recognize baseball fans that have been affected by breast cancer and demonstrated a commitment to fighting the disease.

Dayna is one of the 30 winners, one for each major league club, among more than 1,500 entrants that were selected by more than a half-million fan votes on http://www.HonoraryBatGirl.com, a Web site powered by MLB.com, and a panel of celebrity judges.

Among those on the panel were cancer survivors such as Yankees radio broadcaster Suzyn Waldman; Billye Aaron, Komen Global Ambassador for breast cancer and wife of Hall of Famer Hank Aaron; Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker, Founder and CEO of Susan G. Komen for the Cure; actress Gabrielle Union and Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester. Other panelists included Angels pitcher Jered Weaver, whose mother is a breast cancer survivor; Twins designated hitter Jim Thome, whose mother passed away from lung cancer, and former pitcher and MLB Network analyst Mitch Williams, whose late mother had breast cancer.

On Valentine’s Day 2007, while already battling a brain tumor, Dayna was diagnosed with stage III breast cancer. Amid countless surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation, Dayna has continued her efforts in educating and counseling those affected by the disease. She is a chairperson for the Young Survival Coalition in NYC, an organization dedicated to offering resources and outreach to young women who are diagnosed with breast cancer. Dayna has also helped collect more than 10,000 toys for children who have either lost a parent to cancer or have a surviving parent that is experiencing financial hardship.

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. In three years, nearly 4,000 testimonials have been submitted and more than six million fan votes have been cast. Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer is a joint partnership between MLB, its licensed partners and Susan G. Komen for the Cure to raise awareness about the breast cancer cause, while also raising funds to support breast cancer research.

On Mother’s Day this past Sunday, hundreds of players used pink bats by Louisville Slugger, the official bat of MLB, stamped with the MLB breast cancer awareness logo and wore the symbolic pink ribbons on their uniforms along with pink wrist bands. Commemorative dugout lineup cards were also colored pink. Game-used Louisville Slugger pink bats from Mother’s Day games will be auctioned exclusively on MLB.com at a later date to raise additional funds for Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan G. Komen, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. In 1982, that promise became Susan G. Komen for the Cure, which is now the world’s largest breast cancer organization and the largest source of nonprofit funds dedicated to the fight against breast cancer with more than $1.9 billion invested to date. For more information about Susan G. Komen for the Cure, breast health or breast cancer, visit komen.org or call 1-877 GO KOMEN.