Mother’s Day brought a fresh influx of unique game used bats, bases and other pink-colored items into a special MLB Auction.
Some hit only air.
Others powered teams to victory.
Over 200 Major League players grabbed a pink bat on Sunday as baseball again participated in a special Mother’s Day fundraiser for the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
Bats were not the only game used equipment utilized by players and coaches. Bases carried a special logo. Many players were seen sporting wristbands colored bright pink. Anything approved by Major League Baseball that didn’t wind up going to a player’s family will be autographed and put into a special ‘rolling auction’ through MLB.com.
Perhaps the most sought-after pink bat would have been the one swung by Milwaukee Brewers’ outfielder Ryan Braun. The reigning National League Rookie of the Year pounded two homers with his pink Louisville Slugger, leading the Brewers to a win over the St. Louis Cardinals. However, the bats won’t be headed straight to auction. After his breakout performance, Braun had Brewers equipment manager Tony Migliaccio send them back to Louisville Slugger to have an everyday-use black finish applied so he could continue using them.
Other players are keeping the two they were scheduled to receive , with many presenting them to their own mothers. Plenty of items will go into the auctions, however including team autographed bats from each club.
Other notable performances included Tampa Bay’s Carl Crawford who hit a three-run homer with his pink bat. Carlos Beltran hit a 2-run homer and an RBI double and Jeremy Hermida of the Marlins stroked a home run, although he said after the game he was giving the bat to his mother.
"Of course it feels funny hitting with a pink bat, but, you know, it’s for a good cause, so we had fun with it for the day," Crawford said afterwards. "It brings awareness to breast cancer. So anything bringing attention to that situation is good."
A handful of players on each team used the bats. Cincinnati Reds’ second baseman Jeff Keppinger was hoping to break out a new piece of pink lumber, but teammates talked him out of it. Keppinger had been red hot with a traditional bat and decided to stay with it on Sunday. He did wear pink wristbands.
Rainouts meant some players didn’t use the bats at all. Six members of the Atlanta Braves said after the game they would autograph their bats and donate them to the auction. Last year’s event raised $350,000 for the fight against breast cancer. The bats and other gear will start populating the auction once they are received from the various clubs.
ABC’s Good Morning America promoted the Mother’s Day memorabilia auction with Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez signing special bats which are currently up for bid.
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