Hundreds of big league players and personnel across the country painted their towns pink Sunday.
In support of Major League Baseball's annual Mother's Day initiative to support breast cancer research and the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation, players used pink bats stamped with the MLB breast cancer awareness logo. They also showed their support by wearing the symbolic pink ribbon, as well as pink wrist bands, cleats, necklaces and bracelets.
The bats, which will be auctioned at MLB.com at a later date to raise additional funds for Susan G. Komen for the Cure, were a hit.
They also had plenty of hits in them.
Just ask Boston first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, who went 3-for-5 with a home run and two RBIs in a 9-5 victory over the Twins while using a pink bat.
"It's great to get a 'W' on Mother's Day, and be able to go out there with the pink bats and do it in their acknowledgment," Gonzalez said.
Or Jorge Cantu, whose three-run homer sparked the Padres' 4-3 victory over the D-backs in San Diego."Obviously, my mom was in the back of my head," Cantu said. "I know she is always watching, that's for sure." Or Detroit's Austin Jackson, who wielded his pink bat for a two-run homer and two other hits in a 5-2 victory in Toronto. "My mom gets it," Jackson said of the pink bat. "Every year I write a little something on there and send it to her. She's the one who brought me into this world, so it's definitely special to make this day for moms." Most of the Tampa Bay Rays hitters used the pink bats -- at least the first time through the order -- and the team came away with 11 hits in the 5-3 victory against the Orioles.
"I know it's breast cancer awareness," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "But I think all of us have had different family members who have been afflicted. It's just the awareness level of putting it out there and drawing attention to it, is always a good thing. It's always about education. And the difference between now and 20 years ago is just a different level of education."
Third baseman Chris Johnson started an Astros' comeback Sunday with a home run hit with a pink bat. He said the homer was for his mother, but then cracked, "Yeah, I gave her the two strikeouts, too."
In San Francisco, Rockies' catcher Chris Iannetta used a pink bat to single leading off the sixth inning, ending Ryan Vogelsong's bid for a perfect game. Rockies pitcher Jorge De La Rosa used his pink bat to sacrifice Iannetta to second base.
In Texas, Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson hit a home run while using a pink bat in New York's 12-5 victory against the Rangers. Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli used his pink bat for his first few at-bats, but hit his grand slam with his usual bat.
"That's for my mom," he said. "I wish that she could be here with me, but I hope that they were watching."
Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano wore pink shoes. Marlon Byrd's pink bat was engraved "Going to bat for Emma Byrd" in honor of his mom. Several of the Cubs players, including Starlin Castro, Darwin Barney, Koyie Hill, James Russell, Carlos Pena, Blake DeWitt, Jeff Baker, Tyler Colvin, and Reed Johnson also participated.
"She was everything for me," Soriano said of his mother. "I think about my mom every day. What she did for me, I can never forget. It's not just today. Today is a big day, but I think about her every day."
San Diego third baseman Chase Headley echoed those sentiments."I think across the board, mothers have done so much for everybody," Headley said. "For me personally, my mom has just always been there. She has sacrificed so much. It's just a small way to kind of say, 'Thank you.' It's a great idea and a great honor to be able to do that." In Kansas City, Stephanie Komen, daughter of the late Susan G. Komen, sat in the Buck O'Neil Legacy Seat. Pitcher Kyle Davies, whose mother is a breast cancer survivor, was the honorary spokesman. The Royals took the field with each player accompanied by a breast cancer survivor.
Twelve of the game's 18 hits between Royals and A's were belted with pink bats. That included Kansas City rookie Eric Hosmer's first extra-base hit, a double high off the right-center wall.
"My wife Deborah's mom passed away from breast cancer, so it's near and dear to her heart," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "They do it on Father's Day for prostate cancer, too. It's two good causes, and brings awareness to them."
White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko had five hits Sunday. He didn't use a pink bat, but he was wearing pink shoes. White Sox first base coach Harold Baines also wore pink cleats.
"It's great," White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said. "A great cause for a lot of reasons: cancer, money, health. I always say I do anything to help people out there."
The rosy colored afternoon hit home with Twins shortstop Trevor Plouffe. Plouffe's mother was diagnosed with breast cancer when he was in the ninth grade. She is in remission.
He paid tribute to his mother, and others who have had breast cancer, by wearing pink cleats while also going 1-for-3 at the plate with a double and two runs while using a pink bat.
"It's something that I've always admired to watch guys who are in the big leagues who have done that over the years," said Plouffe. "I'd seen that and always thought it was cool. So to be able to do that -- not just in honor of my mother but everyone who has had breast cancer -- that's just really special to me."
The day was also special for Houston shortstop Clint Barmes, who participated in the annual event in support of his mother, Erma, a breast cancer survivor.
"This day with the pink and the breast cancer awareness and all that, it definitely touches home, that's for sure," he said.
A total of eight Pirates players took part in this tradition, including Steve Pearce, who drove in the team's first run on Sunday with a swing of his pink bat, and Ronny Cedeno, who had an RBI hit.
Mets shortstop Jose Reyes went 2-for-5 using a pink bat. He also wore pink cleats.
"It's great," Reyes said. "This is Mother's Day, and my mother is the most important person in my life. Without her, I wouldn't even be here today. It's cool that we get to wear pink every year, and I do it every year."