Fielder and Hall will wield pink bats
The duo will be joined by four other teammates this year
MILWAUKEE -- Pink-bat-wielding sluggers Prince Fielder and Billy Hall will have a little company this time around.
Six Brewers, including Fielder and Hall for the second straight season, tentatively plan to swing the specially-made pink bats for the team's Mother's Day showdown against the Mets at Shea Stadium. The novelty bats are part of a league-wide effort to raise awareness of, and funds for, breast cancer treatment and research.
"My mom means too much to me, and to think that other people's moms and grandmothers and sisters and wives have to go through something like [breast cancer] makes me want to get involved," said Hall, who enjoyed what may be the signature moment of his young career while swinging a pink bat last season.
Playing against the Mets at Miller Park last May, Hall swatted a game-winning, 10th-inning home run with the bat. It later was bought at auction by Brewers principal owner Mark Attanasio and presented to Hall's mom, Vergie, who was in the stands to see her son's dramatic homer.
Attanasio's winning bid of more than $25,000 went to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. Just last week, Hall made a $25,000 donation of his own, and he and Vergie will serve as the honorary co-chairs of the Komen Foundation's annual "Race for the Cure" in Milwaukee in September. Brewers general manager Doug Melvin and his wife, Ellen, will be grand marshals at that event.
"Billy has to be a part of the pink bat thing," said teammate Geoff Jenkins, who will also take part this year. "That homer is Brewers folklore now."
Besides Fielder, Hall and Jenkins, Brewers infielder Craig Counsell, catcher Johnny Estrada and outfielder Corey Hart ordered a set of pink bats from Louisville Slugger back in Spring Training. They should arrive this week.
Counsell and Estrada took part last year with the Arizona Diamondbacks, and Counsell was among the players who abandoned the pink lumber after one at-bat.
"It just didn't feel right," Counsell said. "I remember, it was against [St. Louis right-hander] Chris Carpenter, and I thought I hit a ball really good and it didn't go anywhere. That was it for me."
Estrada went the other way. He had two hits with the pink bat and liked it so much he brought it to the plate the next day. The home plate umpire made him switch back to his regular bat.
"He said something about Major League Baseball allowing it for only one day," Estrada said. "But I was kind of struggling at the time, and got [two hits and three RBIs] and wanted to keep using it."
To date, more than 200 players have signed up to use a pink bat, which is more than twice the participation in 2006. Select game-used bats, as well as team-autographed bats from every club, will be auctioned on MLB.com at a later date, with proceeds benefiting Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Fans can also purchase their own personalized pink bat at MLB.com, or www.slugger.com, with Major League Baseball donating $10 from the sale of each bat to benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.