Phillies proud to be part of good cause

Phillies proud to be part of good cause

PHILADELPHIA -- Aaron Rowand found the perfect Mother's Day gift.

The Phillies center fielder plans to present his mother, Connie Wolf, with the pink bat he used in Sunday's 4-1 loss to the Cubs. Rowand didn't get any knocks with his pink bat, but that surely won't matter to Mom. It's the thought that counts.

"She has mine from last year that I didn't get to use because I got hurt," Rowand said, referencing his disabled list stint following his collision with the center-field fence. "This year, she's getting the game-used one. She's making a collection."

Rowand was one of several Phillies to take swings with pink bats as part of a league-wide "Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer" effort. The Phillies managed just four hits against Cubs starter Ted Lilly, three with pink bats.

Abraham Nunez's fifth-inning single broke up Lilly's no-bit bid, and Wes Helms and Nunez had singles in the eighth, when the Phillies scored their only run. Chase Utley had gone 0-for-3 with pink, then went back to his regular bat, and stroked a single in the ninth, though he was thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double.

"The pink bats weren't working for us," Utley said. "It was time for a change."

While the pink bats contributed little to a Phillies win, the custom-made Louisville Slugger implements will go to work to help fight breast cancer, as part of an auction to raise money and awareness.

"It's for Mother's Day," Utley said. "Everybody's mother is important, and this is an important cause."

The Phillies have taken on the challenge to raise $25,000 for Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Philadelphia affiliate. Players wore pink wristbands, and the pink ribbon decals were provided to all players, coaches and umpires.

The official dugout lineup cards were also pink, and the pink ribbon logo appeared on the bases and a commemorative home plate at each ballpark.

More than 200 players signed up to use the bats, more than twice the participation in 2006. Select game-used bats -- not the one Rowand is giving to his mom -- as well as team-autographed bats from every club, will be auctioned on MLB.com at a later date, with proceeds benefiting Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Fans can also purchase their own personalized pink bat at MLB.com, or www.slugger.com, with Major League Baseball donating $10 from the sale of each bat to benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

Mothers Day
Game goes to bat for breast cancer

Fans can make donations to the general cause or to a specific team. Major League Baseball Charities have committed an additional $50,000 on top of the fan donation total.

Limited edition Phillies Sparkle Pink Ribbon caps and Charity T-shirts are available, with one dollar from each item going to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. In addition, while supplies last, a special Mother's Day bathrobe with the MLB pink ribbon logo will be given as a gift with a purchase of $150 or more at club retail shops within all 30 ballparks.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure is the world's largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists fighting to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures.

"It's nice that Major League Baseball is doing something like this to promote the cause," Rowand said. "It's something that affects a lot of different people around the country. To be able to be a part of that is special on Mother's Day."

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