Brewers step up to plate with pink bats
Weeks, Kendall drive in runs with commemorative lumber
MILWAUKEE -- The pink bats were prominent early and then quiet late in the Brewers' 4-2 loss to the Cubs on Mother's Day at Miller Park.
Swinging a specially designed pink bat as part of Major League Baseball's program to raise funds for breast cancer treatment and research, Rickie Weeks led off the bottom of the first inning on Sunday with a home run, and Jason Kendall smacked an RBI triple in the second with a bat of a similar hue. Three other members of the starting lineup -- Corey Hart, J.J. Hardy and past Mother's Day hero Bill Hall -- also went pink on Sunday.
But the Brewers' bats, pink and otherwise, went quiet after Kendall's hit. Hall, who doubled ahead of Kendall's triple, singled in the third inning for the Brewers' only other hit with a pink bat. Now, those bats are headed for MLB.com's auction house to raise funds for the Susan G. Komen Foundation.
"We're programmed to come here to the ballpark, put your glove on, put your spikes on and go play," Weeks said. "I think that, after the fact, when you sit down with your family, that's when you tend to go ahead and think about the cause."
Pink bats have become annual Mother's Day symbols as part of the "Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer" initiative by Major League Baseball that raises awareness about breast cancer and directs proceeds to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
Fans play the next big role in this process, because attention will move now to the MLB.com Auction and the gradual arrival of game-used pink bats, home plates, logo bases and lineup cards. Fans also can purchase their own personalized "Mother's Day 2009" pink bats right now for $79.99 apiece at the MLB.com Shop, with $10 from the sale of each one going to the Komen foundation.
Brewers hitters have provided some dramatic moments with pink bats in previous seasons. Hall beat the Mets with a pink-bat home run in 2006 that later fetched $25,000 from Brewers principal owner Mark Attanasio. He purchased the bat at auction so Hall could present it to his mom, Vergie, who was on hand again on Sunday. In 2008, Ryan Braun hit two home runs with a pink bat.
Weeks went 1-for-3 and walked twice with his pink bat on Sunday against the Cubs. Hall said he wished he could use it again this week when the Florida Marlins come to town.
"It felt good, obviously," Hall said. "I may try to use it on Tuesday."
The Brewers also featured Milwaukee's Jill Newman as an honorary bat girl on Sunday as part of another league-wide promotion to recognize fans who are going to bat against breast cancer in their lives. More than 1,000 fans submitted testimonials at MLB.com about how they are supporting the fight against breast cancer, and one winner was selected in each city.
Newman took part in pregame activities and received two tickets to the game and pink MLB merchandise.
"We are proud to honor these brave and inspiring people who are supporting the fight against breast cancer," Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said. "As a social institution, Major League Baseball is making every attempt to raise awareness about the disease while recognizing the men and women living with its effects. We salute the Honorary Bat Girls as they help us celebrate Mother's Day in this very special way."
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.