Sanchez uses pink bat in makeup game

Sanchez uses pink bat

PITTSBURGH -- Because of a rainout, the stock of pink bats that a number of Pirates players had been planning to swing on Mother's Day never made it out onto the field on Sunday.

In order to ensure that they didn't go unused, players for both the Pirates and Braves had the option of using the bats in Game 1 of Monday's doubleheader. Freddy Sanchez was the only Pittsburgh batter who did, though in hindsight maybe his teammates should have followed his lead.

While the Pirates would come out with a Game 1 win, the team would collect just five hits. The biggest of those base knocks, however, would come from Sanchez, who used the pink bat to drive in three runs with a bases-loaded double in a scoreless sixth. The Pittsburgh second baseman also sported two pink wristbands during the game.

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 massive proceeds to Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Each player who was planning on using a pink bat on Sunday was given two bats, one of which will be signed and auctioned off. The other can be kept by the players. In addition to Sanchez, other players and even the umpires also wore pink wristbands, pink titanium necklaces and/or pink ribbons.

Fans play the next big role in this process, because attention will move now to the MLB.com auction and the gradual arrival of those pink bats that were used and then signed, or just signed by entire teams. Signed home plates and bases with the pink-ribbon logo also will be among the auction items that annually draw a frenzy, and all proceeds again will go to the Komen foundation.

It is a "rolling auction," so if you don't see a player's bat in the next few weeks, keep coming back because eventually most or all of them show up there. Fans also can purchase their own personalized "Mother's Day 2008" pink bats right now for $79 apiece at the MLB.com Shop, with $10 from the sale of each one going to Komen.

Jenifer Langosch is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.