SBD/May 8, 2014/Leagues and Governing Bodies

MLB Will Allow Players To Use Non-Louisville Slugger Pink Bats On Mother's Day

Companies no longer will be required to donate to a breast-cancer charity
MLB players will be "allowed to use pink bats with logos from any MLB-approved manufacturer on Mother’s Day, ending a controversy that arose last season and clouded baseball’s efforts to raise awareness for breast cancer," according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSPORTS.com. The decision "reverses a stipulation from the past two years that required players to use only Mother’s Day bats with logos from Louisville Slugger, the baseball partner that helped create the breast-cancer initiative" in '06. Two sons of breast-cancer survivors, Twins 3B Trevor Plouffe and Orioles RF Nick Markakis, were told last season that MLB "would not permit them to use black bats with pink logos from their bat manufacturer, MaxBat, on Mother’s Day." Plouffe said that he "used the bat anyway and then spoke during the off-season" with MLBPA Exec Dir Tony Clark about "finding an alternate solution." MLB Exec VP/Business Tim Brosnan said, "The cause is to draw attention to the scourge of breast cancer. The commissioner just reached a decision, issued a mandate to us to come up with a solution that got us back to the purpose of doing pink on Mother’s Day to begin with, which is to call attention to the need to eradicate breast cancer in our lifetime." Rosenthal noted under the new rules, companies "no longer will be required to donate to a breast-cancer charity if they make pink bats for use on Mother’s Day, though such contributions will be strongly encouraged." Markakis said, "It’s good that Major League Baseball stepped back, took a look at it and realized that it’s OK for everybody to do it. It’s for a good cause." Louisville Slugger VP/Corporate Communications Rick Redman said that the company "had no problem with baseball’s revised position" (FOXSPORTS.com, 5/7).
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