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Jeter gives pink bat to young fan in stands

After boy says 'something nice' to shortstop before game, he gets a gift

Jeter gives pink bat to young fan in stands

MILWAUKEE -- On an afternoon when the Brewers honored Derek Jeter and offered a few tokens of appreciation to recognize his career, the Yankees' captain also popped out of the third-base dugout bearing a gift for one lucky fan.

After using a pink Louisville Slugger bat for his first plate appearance, Jeter scanned the seating area behind the on-deck circle and made eye contact with a young boy, offering the child a most unique souvenir.

"I gave it to a kid who came down and said something nice before the game started; he was probably about 5 years old," Jeter said.

And what did he say that caught Jeter's attention?

"Just that he looks up to me. He's 5," Jeter said, with a chuckle. "He didn't have his teeth in the front. So I gave him the bat."

Jeter was the only Yankees player to use a pink bat on Mother's Day, though most of the roster sported pink undershirts, spikes or wristbands as part of Sunday's celebration to promote breast cancer awareness.

Yankees outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury used a pink wristband and spikes during New York's 6-5 loss, and he said that he thought of his mother, Margie, when he pulled on those uniform pieces.

"I think of my mom, all the sacrifices and the love that she had for me growing up as a kid, even now," Ellsbury said. "I'm grateful for what she's done. I have three younger brothers, and everybody has always asked her about how it must have been tough raising four boys. You definitely appreciate your mom."

Yankees infielder Kelly Johnson wore a pink compression sleeve during the game, stroking a two-run double as part of New York's three-run first inning. Johnson said that the splash of pink was a quiet nod to his family at home.

"I have three boys, and it's a way to represent my wife and my mom," Johnson said. "It means a lot to be able to have a day when you can represent them."

Using the Louisville Slugger that went home with the young fan -- P72 model, of course, the only bat Jeter has used in his career -- Jeter popped a bunt back to pitcher Matt Garza in the first inning.

He opted to go back to his regular black game bats in subsequent plate appearances, going 1-for-5, but Jeter appreciated the opportunity to use a pink bat for the final time in his career.

"Mother's Day is special," Jeter said. "My mom has always been supportive throughout the years, and my sister as well. You think about your mom. That's the bottom line, that's the goal of it."

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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