HOUSTON -- Michael Bourn, Jeff Keppinger, Geoff Blum and Lance Berkman were among the Astros players who swung pink bats during Sunday's game against the Padres in honor of Mother's Day and breast cancer awareness.
Hundreds of Major League Baseball players used pink bats stamped with the MLB breast cancer logo, and players also wore pink wristbands and the symbolic pink ribbon on their uniforms. Some of the Astros had pink batting gloves and titanium necklaces.
"I think it's a good tradition, as long as it's got hits in it," quipped Cory Sullivan. "I think it's a good way to honor your mom, and it's saying something for breast cancer, as well. I think it's a good thing."
Bourn and Berkman had first-inning hits using pink bats, and Keppinger shattered one of his while grounding out in the third inning. Carlos Lee and Hunter Pence hit back-to-back homers in the sixth with their traditional brown bats. And Pence delivered his game-winning hit in the 11th with a brown bat.
Still, the pink bats were favored by some players.
"I'd like to take it on the road because I had two hits with it, but I think they confiscated it already," Berkman said.
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.
Blum was more than happy to go pink.
"I'm going to have all my pink chrome on," he said. "It's a good cause. They do prostate cancer [awareness] on Father's Day, so it's obviously something we're still trying to find a cure for and fix, so any time you can bring more attention to it, it's great. Major League Baseball has done a good job putting us on the forefront and letting us know it affects a lot of people."
Also on Sunday, Major League Baseball and Susan G. Komen for the Cure recognized inspirational MLB fans that have been affected by breast cancer and demonstrated a commitment to the cause. The winner of the Honorary Bat Girl Contest for the Astros was Lorene (Lo) Lyons of Spring, Texas.
For Lyons, breast cancer has hit close to home many times over. Her mom was first diagnosed in 1969 and fought the disease successfully several times before losing her battle in 2000, just a few months after Lyons' own stage-three breast cancer diagnosis in October 1999.
Lyons fought her battle side-by-side with her aunt after both were diagnosed with the disease within weeks of each other. Lyons and her 85-year-old aunt are healthy and cancer-free today. Lyons threw out a ceremonial first pitch.
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.