Honorary bat girl Aguilera meets panel member Kemp
Dodgers star helped choose Mother's Day winner, a breast cancer survivor
LOS ANGELES -- Sara Aguilera, a breast cancer survivor and lifelong Dodgers fan, couldn't stop smiling on Mother's Day as the honorary bat girl at Dodger Stadium.
The mother of two was honored before Sunday's series finale against the Marlins. She took pictures on the field with a handful of Dodgers players and met Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully.
"It's kind of overwhelming," Aguilera said. "It's very exciting. I'm very happy to be here. It's awesome."
Matt Kemp greeted Aguilera in front of the Dodgers dugout, where they took pictures and hugged. The star center fielder signed her pink Dodgers jersey and wished her the best.
Kemp was part of a panel of judges that helped select the honorary bat girls for all 30 Major League clubs. Other judges included Yankees starter CC Sabathia, Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen, Royals third baseman Alex Gordon, Maria Menounos of Extra TV and Sam Ryan, MLB Newtwork host and reporter.
"It was great," Aguilera said of her interaction with Kemp. "He was one of the judges for the honorary bat girl this year, and I really wanted to thank him for choosing me out of a lot of women they had to pick from."
Less than a year after her diagnosis, Aguilera and close friend Seema Chiodo founded the "Feel Yourself Up" organization to spread awareness about breast cancer and raise money for those affected by it. Their mission is to help fight breast cancer through early detection and self-examination.
When Aguilera learned she was selected as the honorary bat girl, she couldn't believe it.
"I started bawling," she said. "I got the call from New York and I just burst into tears and started talking a lot. I was really nervous and excited at the same time."
In celebration of Mother's Day, players showed their support by wearing the symbolic pink ribbon on their uniforms, along with pink wrist bands, gloves and cleats. Some used pink bats. The dugout lineup cards where also pink.
Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.