PITTSBURGH -- When Major League Baseball began using Mother's Day to raise awareness about the fight against breast cancer, Mark Teixeira didn't need anybody to explain the importance of the initiative.
During his high school days, the Braves first baseman watched his mother successfully battle breast cancer.
"There wasn't as much awareness and testing back then," Teixeira said. "Whenever you hear cancer, you get very scared."
Teixeira was among the group of Braves and Pirates who were scheduled to show their support in the fight against breast cancer by using pink bats during Sunday's game. But because it was postponed by rain, they utilized them in the first game of Monday's doubleheader.
"It's great that we're getting to use them again," Teixeira said. "Maybe it will help us awaken our offense."
Unfortunately for Teixeira, he was forced to leave the first game of Monday's doubleheader in the fourth inning with back spasms. He had gone hitless in his two at-bats against Pirates starter Zach Duke.
Actually for Teixeira, it was just good that he was able to use this pink bat with his mother, Margy Teixeira, who is a native of Pittsburgh, in attendance. Since beating breast cancer 13 years ago, she hasn't had any further problems.
Other Braves who showed their support by using pink bats and wearing pink wristbands included Mark Kotsay, Yunel Escobar, Kelly Johnson, Chipper Jones and Brian McCann.
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 massive 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 those pink bats that were used and then signed, or just signed by entire teams. Signed home plates and bases with the pink-ribbon logo also will be among the auction items that annually draw a frenzy, and all proceeds again will go to Komen. 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.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.