Bid on a pink bat, help a good cause

Bid on a pink bat, help a good cause

Nearly a quarter-million dollars were raised for the fight against breast cancer last year at MLB.com Auction in the bidding for those first-ever autographed pink bats that were used on Mother's Day -- including 67 bats that each went for at least $1,000 and that Bill Hall special that commanded a stunning $25,525.

Here's your chance again.

It's time to raise a whole lot more money for Susan G. Komen for the Cure, while grabbing some truly one-of-a-kind memorabilia in the process. Bidding is now under way on the first batch of the pink bats that were used on May 13 at all of the home Major League Baseball parks this Mother's Day, and fans will find a wide variety, including bats used by stars such as Carlos Beltran and Junior Griffey to slug big home runs as well as bats that just hold special individual meaning.

The auction will be run in two parts, Group 1 (now until June 18) and Group 2 (June 18-25). If there is a specific bat you are wanting, then keep an eye on this auction as new items will be added gradually. More than 200 players swung pink bats that day, and more players like Boston's Manny Ramirez also received a supply of them and autographed them for this auction if they did not actually use them in the game.

Last year, a Nomar Garciaparra pink bat went for $3,080.55. If you were outbid then, here's another opportunity. The Dodgers first baseman swung pink in a 10-5 home victory against Cincinnati, and had three hits. Or consider the pink bat that his teammate, Jeff Kent, used to whack a ball over the wall in left-center. You can click here to watch as legendary Vin Scully makes the call, and see for yourself that the bat is in fact pink and then bid on it at the MLB.com Auction.

In that same game, Griffey hit the 570th homer of his career, taking sole possession of ninth place on the all-time list. Griffey used a pink bat to pull it into the right-field seats at Dodger Stadium. Watch it, and then make it yours.

That is the beauty of this whole process. You can own one of these popular conversation pieces, help a very important cause in the process and then show your friends and family the actual video of the memorabilia stick being used.

Consider a trio of Rangers, each of whom homered with a pink bat in a 7-6 home victory over the Angels. Check out the pine tar. Watch Hank Blalock, Ian Kinsler and Brad Wilkerson go deep, and remember what was going through the minds of many people who were watching.

Hall even has another homer-producing pink bat in this one, and it is sure to command a high bid once again as he has kind of emerged as Mr. Pink Bat. Last year, Hall used the pink bat to hit a walk-off homer for Milwaukee while his mother was in the crowd. The Brewers' team owner wound up putting up a winning bid of $25,525. This time, it was a solo homer in the ninth inning that broke up the Mets' shutout of the Brewers.

"She's happy. I'm sure she saw it," Hall said of his mother. "Another big day for my Mom, for me -- not as huge as last year, but definitely something to remember again."

In that same game, Beltran crushed a homer to right at Shea Stadium, making it 9-0. Watch it here and bid on it.

Team-signed bats also will be popular in this second annual Mother's Day auction. After Hall's bat, the pink bat that drew the highest winning bid last year was one signed by the entire Astros team: $12,275. That was immediately followed by a Phillies team-signed bat at $8,078.17, and right behind that on the list were pink bats from Derek Jeter of the Yankees ($6,325) and David Wright of the Mets ($5,024).

To underscore the significance of these bats to the player as well as the beneficiary, just consider the case of Florida's Josh Willingham. In this year's Mother's Day game against the Nationals, Willingham singled sharply to left in the second inning for the Marlins' first hit. Last offseason, his wife, Ginger, gave birth to the couple's first child, Rhett Joshua.

"It represents Mother's Day," Willingham said of using the pink bats. "It's for a good cause, breast cancer awareness. This obviously means something different for everybody. For me, this is a special time, with my wife becoming a mother. And for my mother, also."

Willingham's teammate, Miguel Cabrera, has a signed pink bat in this auction, too. If you just love Cabrera memorabilia, then this is a must.

Same with Sammy Sosa, who is presumably going to be in the Hall of Fame one day. This would be your chance to claim ownership of perhaps the only Sosa-signed pink bat out there whenever that day comes. The same is true with a pair of pitching greats who have signed pink bats up for bidding: Atlanta's John Smoltz and the Mets' Tom Glavine (whose bat will be listed in Group 2, along with one from teammate Jose Reyes).

Bid now on a broken bat used by Red Sox backup third baseman Eric Hinske, who was able to swing the pink bat for his wife, Kathryn, on her first "pre-Mother's Day." She was pregnant with the couple's first child at the time of that game, and Eric said, "It's pretty special." Now you can share in that joy.

Want an Alfonso Soriano pink bat? His 20-game hitting streak came to an end on Mother's Day, but he coaxed a walk in the third inning of that Cubs victory over the Phillies to make it 27 consecutive games reaching base safely.

Fans also can purchase their own personalized pink bat at MLB.com, with Major League Baseball donating $10 from the sale of each to benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Mark Newman is enterprise editor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.