BOSTON -- Nobody would blame you if you tried to adjust the color on your television on Sunday. Seven of Baltimore's nine starters used a pink bat on Mother's Day as part of a league-wide initiative to help raise awareness for breast cancer. Those seven players went 6-for-23, but more important, they helped raise money for a good cause.
More than 200 players signed up to use a pink bat, 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.
"With a good cause, you've got a free pass," first baseman Kevin Millar said last week of participating in the initiative. "That's the only way you get a free pass to swing pink."
Brian Roberts and Nick Markakis combined for two hits and three runs at the top of the batting order, and Aubrey Huff and Jay Payton added the other runs -- all while using the pink bats. Catcher Ramon Hernandez went 0-for-4 in the cleanup slot with the soft-hued lumber and made a key error late in Baltimore's 6-5 loss to Boston.
Before the game, several players signed a commemorative home plate, and others had the bats signed by the entire team as a keepsake. Roberts even had his mother's name -- Nancy Roberts -- inscribed on the bat. None of the players was in the mood to talk about the bats after the game, but they clearly made an impact on Sunday.
During the "Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer" program, fans can support the initiative by logging onto a MLB-themed microsite (www.komen.org/mlb) and making a monetary pledge in the name of a specific team or to the general cause. Donations made in a team's name will go to programs in that team's community to support breast health and breast cancer awareness.
The donations can be made at five levels: "Single" ($25), "Double" ($50), "Triple" ($75), "Home Run" ($100) and "Grand Slam" ($250). Major League Baseball Charities has also committed an additional $50,000 on top of the fan donation total.
"Major League Baseball is proud to again partner with Susan G. Komen for the Cure to help raise awareness and funds for a disease that affects so many women and their families," said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. "It is important to all of us in baseball that our clubs, players, licensees and fans give back to our communities in such a meaningful way."
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.