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Perfect at Petco on Mother's Day, Padres rock pink

Venable uses pink bat to hit leadoff homer as Friars improve to 4-0 on holiday

Special to

SAN DIEGO -- On Mother's Day at Petco Park, there were lots of signs of honoring the women who are important to the lives of Major League Baseball players. In the Padres' clubhouse, it was especially apparent, given the abundance of pink paraphernalia and equipment scattered about the lockers of the players and coaches.

The color pink symbolizes the MLB breast cancer awareness initiative, and all players and personnel wore a pink ribbon on their uniforms to honor the struggle against breast cancer.

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On the tables near couches where players can lounge while preparing for the game, stacks and stacks of pink wristbands were available to any player who chose to wear them. Even the groundskeepers setting up the field for the afternoon game were wearing the pink wristbands.

Another Mother's Day tradition in Major League Baseball is the pink Louisville Slugger bats that many players on the team used on Sunday. The bats were stamped with the MLB breast cancer awareness logo, and following the game, they were authenticated and auctioned on to benefit the fight against breast cancer.

Players were offered the opportunity to order the pink bats to use on Sunday, and one Padre who chose to do so was catcher Yasmani Grandal, who said the significance of the pink bats was important to him.

"You're just representing a lot of things," Grandal said. "You're representing your mom, you're representing everybody, cancer patients, everybody who had cancer. Hopefully at the end of the game, it goes to a good cause."

Will Venable used a pink bat to club his first home run of the season, a solo shot to right that lead off the Padres' first inning.

"Yeah, I hit a home run for my momma," Venable said. "I'm happy to hit a ball hard and give the team a lead. It was a good start to the day. Nice little present for momma and got our team a lead. You go through the day attributing your effort and your play to your mom. I think everyone does that."

Other players on the Padres who had pink bats in their empty lockers prior to the game were Yonder Alonso, Alexi Amarista and Rene Rivera. Amarista drove in a run in the fourth with a single while using his pink bat.

In addition to the pink bats, players could order pink sunglasses, and pitcher Andrew Cashner wore them proudly as he headed to the field for some routine exercise.

Beyond the symbolic gestures that are important to the Padres on Mother's Day, they have also found great success on the field at Petco Park in games played on the day. The club improved to 4-0 on Mother's Day since the park opened in 2004.

Tim Powers is a contributor to

San Diego Padres