KANSAS CITY -- Pink baseball bats have become a Major League Baseball Mother's Day tradition, as MLB's "Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer" initiative has raised awareness about breast cancer and helped generate millions of research dollars for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
On Sunday, the Royals continued that tradition in a big way, using those pink bats to rap out 11 hits en route to a 4-0 win over the Orioles. After losing three in a row quietly to the Birds, the Royals found their swing on Mother's Day, with four hitters recording two hits.
Mark Grudzielanek was one of them. But he also led the team with two broken pink bats.
"It was one of those things," he said. "They both shattered."
David DeJesus blistered a single with his pink bat in the seventh.
"My last at-bat, it worked out amazing," he said. He also noted his bats left the field in better shape than Grudzielanek's.
"He'll have to sign the top part of the bat," DeJesus said.
DeJesus was referring to the game-used pink bats being among auction items that annually draw a bidding frenzy with all proceeds going to the Komen Foundation. The auction will also include signed home plates and bases with the pink-ribbon logo.
Fans play the next big role in this process, because attention will move now to MLB.com Auctions and the gradual arrival of those pink bats that were used and then signed by the ballplayers. 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.
During pregame ceremonies, Royals Charities presented a check for $5,000 to the Susan G. Komen Greater Kansas City affiliate. The donation honors the memory of Donna Stewart, the late wife of longtime Royals scout Art Stewart.
Max Utsler is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.