Shortstop and lead-off man David Eckstein is among Cardinals players planning to use the special lumber.
When I asked Eckstein his reasons for participating, he didn't hesitate. "For me, it is simply a way to honor my Mom and to raise awareness about breast cancer. If me, by swinging the bat, can make one person say ‘Hey, let me go get checked out', then it has done its purpose. It is a very serious problem in this country."
Major League Baseball statistics show that 46% of all MLB fans are female. But, Eckstein is quick to point out that breast cancer can attack males, too.
"Take our clubhouse manager, Rip Rowan. His Dad had breast cancer. So, it can strike anyone anytime. I really want to make people aware that if can affect males and females. And that is why I am swinging and to honor my Mom."
On Sunday, the pink ribbon logo appears on the bases and on commemorative home plates. In addition, dugout lineup cards will be pink. Team-autographed commemorative home plates, pink bats and lineup cards from each ballpark will be auctioned off to raise additional funds for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
Tony La Russa's Sunday line-up card dressed in pink.
Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, no stranger to supporting charitable causes, is a breast cancer awareness supporter, as well. "I think it is always a good idea when Major League Baseball steps up and gets involved with something like this. The awareness and moneys that will be raised will help to make advances and save more lives. So, whatever we can do is wonderful. It has touched my family on both sides – my wife's side and my side, too."
A member of the Scout.com Cardinals family is currently fighting breast cancer, so it is has struck very close to us, too.
Here is what you can do to support the cause.
During the "Strikeout Challenge," fans and players can log onto MLB.com and make a monetary pledge for each strikeout thrown during Major League Baseball games played between last Sunday, May 7 and today, Sunday, May 14. Funds collected will benefit the Komen Foundation, and Major League Baseball Charities will donate an additional $50,000 on top of all fan and player donations. In addition to pledges per strikeout, fans and players can also donate a specific amount directly to the Komen Foundation through MLB.com.
In addition, as part of the Mother's Day initiative, special limited edition ladies apparel are for sale online and at the ballpark, featuring each Major League Clubs' logo in the signature pink for breast cancer awareness, alongside the breast cancer ribbon logo. One dollar from the sale of each item will be donated to the Komen Foundation. Cardinals wives and significant others are wearing signed versions on Sunday at Busch Stadium.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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