White Sox celebrate moms on their day
With pink bats in hand, team keeps mothers in hearts
CHICAGO -- Breaking out the pink bats for Mother's Day in 2006 brought about instant success for White Sox stalwarts such as Jermaine Dye and Jim Thome, who both went deep during a 9-7, come-from-behind victory at the Metrodome.
On Sunday at U.S. Cellular Field, the Mother's Day pink bat follow-up didn't bring nearly the same success for the White Sox in 2007. Despite seven of the nine White Sox starters using the special bats, the South Siders only managed three hits overall during an 11-1 loss to Kansas City.
The lack of offense, though, didn't diminish the importance of the gesture.
"It was a very special feeling, trying to do something for your mom or your wife," said White Sox backup catcher Gustavo Molina, who received a rare start Sunday and used the pink bat.
"This is a great day to reflect, especially with my wife and now with us having children," Thome added. "It makes it worth reflecting on what they gave you."
Thome, who lost his mother, Joyce, in January 2005, after a year-long battle with lung cancer, didn't play on Sunday as he continues to work his way back from a right ribcage strain that landed him on the 15-day disabled list. But in order to pay proper tribute, Thome used the pink bat during his morning batting practice session.
More than 200 Major League players signed up to use pink Louisville Slugger bats in Sunday's games to help raise awareness for breast cancer. 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.
Pablo Ozuna, Juan Uribe, Joe Crede, Ryan Sweeney, Paul Konerko, Dye and Molina all used the pink bats for the White Sox, while pink wristbands as well as a pink lineup card also were prominently displayed. Manager Ozzie Guillen mentioned how he picked up one of Thome's pink bats after last year's game and gave the autographed piece of lumber to his wife, Ibis, as a Mother's Day gift -- per her request.
When informed of Guillen laying claim to one of his pink bats, Thome quipped that "he better give it back." But Thome still has the pink bat he used to hit the home run last year, a piece of memorabilia to be prominently displayed in his home one day.
Guillen explained during Sunday morning's talk with the media how he hasn't spent Mother's Day with his own mom in 27 years because of baseball's demands, although he was flying back to Miami Sunday night to be with his wife during Monday's off-day. Yet, he applauded the honor being paid to these truly unsung heroes, as well as promoting awareness for such a deadly disease.
"It's something real nice," Guillen said. "Finally, we are making a tribute to our moms. Finally, we take care of the person that brings everyone here. Baseball, and everyone, is admiring the person we have to be admiring.
"I think it's a great idea. Everything to help people, I'm always up for it. Baseball tries to do a lot of things to make life better."
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.