Adrian, Red Sox put pink bats to good use
On Mother's Day, slugger turns 29, goes 3-for-5 with homer
BOSTON -- Adrian Gonzalez won't be sending his mother flowers for another couple of days. It's not because he's a bad son -- he already ordered the arrangements -- but because in Mexico, Mother's Day isn't until Wednesday.
But he gave his mom a different gift on Sunday afternoon. In part of a league-wide celebration of Mother's Day, players were sporting pink in different ways to help raise breast cancer awareness.
While using a pink bat stamped with the MLB breast cancer logo, Gonzalez went 3-for-5 with a home run and two RBIs in a 9-5 victory over the Twins.
"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," he said.
Also part of the Sunday celebration, an Honorary Bat Girl was chosen as one of 30 winners league-wide by a panel of celebrity judges that included lymphoma survivor and Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester.
Amy Seich of Canton, Mass., who lost her father to breast cancer in 1977, and in 1990 was diagnosed with the disease herself, was selected as Boston's Honorary Bat Girl. Seich underwent a mastectomy and nine months of chemotherapy at 32 years old, but has been cancer-free for 20 years. She was honored in a pregame ceremony.
"It was the most thrilling thing that I have ever been involved in," said Seich, standing on the field before the game. "I really didn't think I had a chance, and when I got notified that I won, to combine my love for the Red Sox and my dedication to breast cancer awareness has been unreal."
Red Sox outfielder Darnell McDonald, who lost his aunt to breast cancer, was feeling particularly nostalgic.
"It's a day to celebrate all the mothers," McDonald said. "My wife, we have two kids. It's good to see that baseball recognizes them. They're the reason we're here. We love them."
Jason Varitek admitted that pink is certainly not his color -- he's not fond of the way he looks in it -- but the catcher was donning specially made equipment just for Sunday. It's the fifth year he's worn pink catcher's gear on Mother's Day to support breast cancer awareness. The equipment will be auctioned off for Susan G. Komen for the Cure.
"It's great to be able to wear the gear and give money to charity," said Varitek, who had plans with his fiancé, Catherine Panagiotopoulos after the game. "She's had a battle to get through it and it's a really special day for her."
Kevin Youkilis tied a career high by scoring four times Sunday, and he said he had no problem switching up his lumber in honor of Mother's Day
"It doesn't bother me at all," he said Youkilis, who went 2-for-4 using a pink bat. "It's for a good cause. I just look at it that way. We have blue bats for Father's Day. As long as it's for a good cause, it doesn't matter and it doesn't affect me."
Youkilis.even saved a pink bat for his special lady.
"Luckily my mom's in town this year," he said. "I've given her a bat every year. She'll have a collection."
Jason Mastrodonato is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.