Brewers don't want to let go of pink bats
Braun's two homers, six other hits highlight special lumber
MILWAUKEE -- Some of the Brewers want to keep using their pink bats.
Especially slugger Ryan Braun, whose two solo home runs Sunday were among eight Brewers hits that came with pink bats in their 5-3 win against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Braun, Corey Hart and J.J. Hardy were among many from around Major League Baseball who went pink to support the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation to fight breast cancer.
Braun seemed elated to publicize the cause, but he is a ballplayer first, so he noticed something different about his Louisville Slugger maple bats -- other than their different color.
"It felt harder," Braun said. "Seriously. A lot of us were saying that. It felt like it might have been better wood. We'll see what I can do about keeping it. I don't have a problem with it being pink. I don't know what the rules and regulations are."
Braun, the National League Rookie of the Year in 2007, still was in the Minors on Mother's Day a year ago.
"This is such a wonderful cause, so I'm real glad I'm here to help out this season," Braun said. "We're doing what we can to raise awareness, and to raise money in the auctions, is awesome."
Fans play the next big role in this process, because attention will move now to the MLB.com Auction and the gradual arrival of those pink bats that were used and then signed, or just signed by entire teams.
Signed home plates and bases with the pink-ribbon logo also will be among the auction items that annually draw a frenzy, and all proceeds again will go to Komen. It is a "rolling auction," so if you don't see a player's bat in the next few weeks, keep coming back because eventually most or all of them show up there.
Fans also can purchase their own personalized "Mother's Day 2008" pink bats right now for $79 apiece at the MLB.com Shop, with $10 from the sale of each one going to Komen.
Hart, who hit a two-run double in the first inning, and Hardy, who went 3-for-4 with an RBI double, also had ideas about keeping their bats for another game.
"We're going to have to figure out a way to use those bats tomorrow. If not, maybe we can go to Home Depot and get some pink spray paint," Hart said jokingly.
Hardy said if he could keep his pink bats he would try to paint them black -- to match his others and keep them legal.
"I'll try both -- whatever works," said Braun, whose homers came in the third and fifth against Braden Looper.
Brewers manager Ned Yost doubted how much the pink bats mattered, pointing to Bill Hall's 0-for-3 and his breaking of a bat in the sixth. Hall the previous two seasons on Mother's Day hit home runs, including a game-winner in 2006, with a pink bat.
Hall dedicated the first home run to Vergie Hall, his mother, who was in attendance that day and Sunday, along with her mother.
Brewers owner Mark Attansio bought the 2006 bat at auction for about $25,000 and presented it to Hall's mom.
Jason Kendall added the other pink hit for the Brewers, who got a non-pink single by Rickie Weeks as their only other hit of the game.
David Brown is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.