New Boston woman battling cancer named Tigers’ Honorary Bat Girl

By Scott Bolthouse
Hub Editor Twitter: @ScottMBolt


New Boston resident Penny Russell. Source:

On Mother’s Day, when the Detroit Tigers take on the Texas Rangers at Comerica Park, one local woman fighting breast cancer will receive a special honor from the Tigers and Major League Baseball in front of thousands of fans during a special ceremony downtown.

A New Boston native, wife, and mother of three, Penny Russell was first diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2015.

She was recently nominated by a friend to receive the honorary award, which will be announced before the start of Sunday’s game.

“It has been a rough road so far for this wonderful woman but I know there is light at the end of the tunnel. I want to help her have some fun along the way and this would just be a special memory amongst the tough ones!” the friend said.

Since being diagnosed, Russell has been undergoing several rounds of chemotherapy and, according to her friend that nominated her, she didn’t react well to the first round.

“After her first round she became extremely ill and was in and out of the hospital numerous times. Come to find out her gallbladder was failing and she ended up going in for surgery.”

The Honorary Bat Girl program began in 2009 with the goal to raise awareness for MLB’s annual Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer initiative held each Mother’s Day across the country.

Fans are encouraged to wear pink to the game Sunday, and players on the field will wear special pink accessories and use pink bats when they’re at the plate to show support.

Learn more about MLB’s Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer initiative at



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