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Blue Jays celebrate Mother's Day with pink gear

Blue Jays celebrate Mother's Day with pink gear

TORONTO -- Pink was prominent on Mother's Day at the Rogers Centre, as several players from both the Angels and Blue Jays swung pink bats and donned pink sleeves, laces, sunglasses, cleats and wristbands -- all in support of breast cancer awareness.

Several Blue Jays -- including Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion and Melky Cabrera -- used pink bats during batting practice. Bautista used his in his first at-bat against Angels hurler Jered Weaver in the first inning.

It was also a big day for Tracy Gavrielides. The Blue Jays season-ticket holder was selected through an online vote to be honorary bat girl for the day.

Gavrielides, a cancer survivor, was honoured in a pregame ceremony. As a longtime Blue Jays fan, she said having the opportunity to be bat girl for a day was the thrill of a lifetime.

"Being on the field, having my mom and my mother in-law here, it's all pretty special," said Gavrielides, 33. "I am lucky to be here today."

The Mississauga-raised Gavrielides has been cancer-free since September. She spent most of 2013 undergoing chemotherapy treatment and surgeries, and she is currently training and raising money for the 30km Weekend to End Women's Cancers on Sept. 6, which coincides with her being one-year cancer free. She's raised over $2,000 so far.

Gavrielides, who had her own pink bat and wore an honorary Blue Jays jersey, describes herself and her husband as die-hard Blue Jays fans, who follow the team on the road at least once a season. They've traveled to New York and Chicago to take in games, and they are planning a possible trip to Texas later this month.

She said she owes the day to her best friend, Karen Montgomery, who nominated her for the contest. The two have been best friends since kindergarten.

Jamie Ross is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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