First Pitch Ceremony Cupcakes

Baking Date: July 12, 2012

This year, one of our team moms was selected as the Honorary Bat Girl for the Baltimore Orioles. This event was sponsored by Major League Baseball, Louisville Slugger and the Susan G. Komen Foundation. The first pitch ceremony took place during games played on Mother’s Day around the league. For those teams that were away, they could have the ceremony on another day, once they returned to their home field.

The Orioles did it on a Tuesday night. Because it was during the school year and Camden Yards is over an hour from where we live, only 3 baseball families were able to be there on our team mom’s special night.  So the baseball team moms decided that we would re-create the first pitch ceremony for the team during the opening game of the State Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken 11U State Tournament. Our team was hosting the tournament and we could make a real ceremony of it!

We asked the team mom to be there to throw out the first pitch. It was an especially moving ceremony. Our team mom had a routine follow up scan a week ago (after a clear scan 3 months earlier), which revealed a new mass. The morning of our game, she had a biopsy so that they could determine if the mass was a recurrance of the cancer.  She had 5 stitches from her biopsy and was on some pain medication as she made the first pitch to her son.

She didn’t know about a few surprises we had in store. We gave her a pink bat, engraved with her name, signed by all the boys on the team and the coaches. The visiting team gave her a ball, signed by all their players and coaches that said “We’re rooting for you!”.  I videotaped the ceremony:

Given it was such a special night – I made a special treat.  I baked devil’s food cupcakes, topped with vanilla frosting dyed royal blue (team color), white sugar pearls and a white heart-shaped candy melt, dyed hot pink.

Royal blue icing with hot pink heart-shaped candy melts

Royal blue icing with hot pink heart-shaped candy melts

I also made pink lemonade gooey butter cookies, using the Pillsbury pink lemonade cake mix as the substitute in the recipe.

Pink lemonade gooey butter cookies

Pink lemonade gooey butter cookies

We’re all rooting for you, Krista!

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Walkersville Slugger Cake

Baking Date: May 11, 2013

It has been a very exciting few weeks for one of our little league team moms. After being nominated by her daughter (which I blogged about previously), Krista won the competition to be the 2013 Baltimore Orioles Honorary Bat Girl!

We are so proud of Krista, all the other nominees, survivors, and those currently in the battle. We, of course, are thinking about the angels who gave their all in the fight and are no longer with us.

I’m especially proud of Krista’s daughter Sarah Grace, whose winning nomination essay should be an inspiration to any family member or friend of someone in the fight against cancer.

Sarah Grace's Honorary Bat Girl Nomination Essay

Sarah Grace’s Honorary Bat Girl Nomination Essay

As a way of honoring Sarah Grace, I made her a special cake, along the theme of the special pink bats used on Mother’s Day by Major League Baseball.

Photo: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Photo: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

I made a red velvet cake (her favorite), with cream cheese frosting in light pink all over. I made a bright/hot pink border using the same cream cheese frosting. In the interest of time, I used a box mix and can frosting.

For the lettering, I piped melted chocolate candy onto a “logo” I created.  Thanks to my designer friend Rebecca Henigin from Henigin Design, who studied the font and told me which fonts I should use for my logo.

I printed out the logo, and taped a piece of wax paper over it.  Using a piping bag and small tip, I hand-drew the letters on the wax paper, tracing them with the chocolate candy melt. Since the McElwains live in Walkersville, MD, that’s the location I used on the bat.

In hindsight, the letters need to be a bit bigger/thicker.  Once they harden and you begin to peel them off the wax paper, the thinner parts break very easily.  There are a few “Frankenletters”, but hopefully you can’t tell which ones they are!

Yes, yes, I know the letters don't form a symmetrical arch!

Yes, yes, I know the letters for Walkersville don’t form a symmetrical arch!

The hot pink frosting on the side of the cake.

The hot pink frosting on the side of the cake.

Congrats to Sarah Grace and her mom Krista, and thanks for bringing inspiration to all those who are “Fighting Like a Girl!”

HOPE

My oldest son’s team wears a pink ribbon patch on their travel/All Star uniforms. We have a team mom who is a breast cancer survivor — going into her 6th year cancer free! Last year, I made her a cake to celebrate her very important 5 year milestone.

We have another mom who was diagnosed about 18 months ago and has gone through chemo, radiation and the host of indignities that every cancer patient suffers through. HOPE is a very important word to her.  She embraces the pink and I’ve made a few sweets for her, including a Pink/White/Hot Pink cake in October for Breast Cancer Awareness:

HOPE cake

HOPE cake

some cookies with hot pink frosting that spelled out HOPE:

HOPE cookies

HOPE cookies

and a HOPE red velvet heart-shaped mini cake out of some extra batter I had from another baking project:

Bringing sweet HOPE to those who need it

Bringing sweet HOPE to those who need it

When I heard about the Honorary Bat Girl Contest on Mother’s Day co-sponsored by Major League Baseball and Louisville Slugger, I immediately thought of my baseball family.  Without reading the details, I suggested the contest to the daughter of the mom currently in the fight.

Sarah Grace was very excited and wrote an essay about why she would like to be considered. Turns out you have to be 18 years old to be nominated to win. Sarah Grace is not yet in high school. Disappointed — but not discouraged — she immediately wrote a nomination for her mom.

I hope you will consider voting for any of the amazing women who have been nominated.  You can search by baseball team to select someone local to you.  But I also HOPE you’ll read the story of my fellow baseball mom Krista. You can vote for Krista here:  http://bit.ly/VoteKristaMc

Sarah Grace is an amazing young lady. Her efforts to honor her mother and other breast cancer victims gives us the HOPE we all need.

Krista and Sarah Grace

Krista and Sarah Grace