Marlins wield pink bats with pride

Marlins wield pink bats with pride

DENVER -- The Marlins collected as many hits as they did broken bats with their pink Louisville Sluggers in Sunday's loss to the Rockies.

It was two each, but that certainly didn't sour any players or coaches on the special Mother's Day garb -- from bats to wristbands -- that promote a cause far more important than wins and losses.

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Pink bats have become annual Mother's Day symbols as part of an overall "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 and 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 Komen.

"Anything we can do to help the awareness, not even just to raise money," Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "Just to have the pink bat, and people ask, 'Hey, what is that pink stuff for?' I think it's a good thing for baseball."

Gonzalez had a busy Mother's Day. He made sure to call not only his mother, but his wife, his mother-in-law and his sister. Oh yeah, he had a game to manage, too.

Left fielder Cody Ross outdid his skipper by bringing several family members, including his mother, Janet, to Coors Field. Ross' family hails from New Mexico. Denver is the closest National League city, 500 miles away. Janet is able to see her son play only a couple series a year.

"It's not as much as I'm sure they'd like to see," Ross said. "It's nice to have her here. With my sisters, we dedicate this day to her."

Ross went 0-for-4 and broke a pink bat on a fifth-inning popup. Sharp Rockies starter Aaron Cook spoiled the day for many Marlins hitters. With an off-day on Monday, Ross will stay with his family in Denver on Sunday night and, with his family, take his mom out to dinner.

Marlins starter Chris Volstad did not have his mother, Colleen, in attendance for his Mother's Day outing. But he can still remember seeing her at almost every one of his Little League and high school games growing up in South Florida.

"She was there supporting me every single game it seemed like, carrying her chair around and sitting behind the fence all the way through high school," he said. "She was there all the time."

Nick Zaccardi is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.