Mother's Day in Bay special for Frandsen

Mother's Day in Bay special for Frandsen

OAKLAND -- More than 350 breast cancer survivors clad in pink jerseys and holding pink balloons formed a huge ribbon in the outfield on Sunday before the A's-Nationals game as Major League Baseball promoted breast cancer awareness leaguewide on Mother's Day.

Select Nationals players also used pink bats, batting gloves, wristbands and arm sleeves to commemorate the occasion, which has become an annual celebration for baseball.

Sunday starter Gio Gonzalez took the field with pink cleats, along with a few of his teammates, while catcher Jose Lobaton also used a pink bat.

"I love it," Kevin Frandsen said of the Mother's Day tradition. "Not only to the mothers that have battled breast cancer, but it's for every single person that has dealt with breast cancer. It might be just one day of the season, but I think it's something that we represent throughout the whole season. It's our way to give appreciation for everyone who's gone through it and to all the mothers."

A native of San Jose, about an hour south of Oakland, Frandsen was lucky to be able share Sunday's game with his mother, Tracie, and his family. In fact, Frandsen's family has been in the stands the whole weekend to see the veteran in action.

"It's nice being back home," Frandsen said. "I've actually played here in Oakland a couple times on Mother's Day, which is fun, when I was the Giants. But she's always there. Even when I was playing with the Giants, she was at every home game. It didn't matter if I was starting or not.

"Whether it's been good or bad, she's always been there. I'm very lucky I have someone so special in my life to continuously be supportive."

If it weren't for his mother, Frandsen might not have had the genes to become a big leaguer in the first place. Tracie is now a retired special education high school teacher, but she was also a four-year field hockey star at San Jose State.

"She's the true athlete of the family," Frandsen said. "I like to say I got my athletic side from her."

Alex Espinoza is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.