OAKLAND -- Kristin Goldthorpe knew breast cancer survivors, but never thought about it happening to her. Now, she's embraced her circumstances.
Goldthorpe, diagnosed with breast cancer last November, was on the field of 0.Co Coliseum with hundreds of other cancer survivors as the A's honorary bat girl for Breast Cancer Awareness Day.
"To me, I'm just one of hundreds of thousands of women who are diagnosed with breast cancer every year," said Goldthorpe, who just turned 50. "I didn't expect to be here. Now I have to deal with it and there's a ton of support."
Goldthorpe was one of 30 baseball fans who have been affected by breast cancer and who demonstrate a commitment to eradicating the disease so honored. Winners were selected to represent each Major League Baseball team.
"People complain about getting old," Goldthorpe said. "Not everybody gets that privilege. When it hits you, things change. You're not in charge any more. You do have to value every day."
Goldthorpe thought her son, Karl, was kidding around when he asked if she wanted to sign up for the contest.
"I thought he meant bat girl like Spiderman or something," she said. "I write in my profession so I said, 'Ok, I'll do it.' Then it was put on Facebook and I had relatives in Switzerland and friends in Brazil who were voting for me."
Goldthorpe, a relative rookie to breast cancer, found strength in the stories of other survivors.
"I have a friend who has dealt with for 13 years," Goldthorpe said. "It is all around us. It does change your perspective. I just met a nurse who was diagnosed six years ago who said each case, each story, is different."
Goldthorpe's story includes 'Team Kristin' bracelets. The niece of her brother's girlfriend, who lives in Mexico, decided to make Goldthorpe a cloth bracelet to show support.
"I've given away more than 50," Goldthorpe said.
Karl Goldthorpe, who will be a freshman at Arizona State this August, is her biggest fan. He runs the Instagram site "Oakland_Athletics_Fans" (4,714 followers as of Sunday) and shares her love of the Green and Gold.
When the pair visited Arizona State -- "Eric Sogard's old school" -- the A's spring training facility at Phoenix Muni Stadium and Chase Field were on the must-see list.
He was out in the left-field bleachers -- "probably waving one of those flags," she said -- while Goldthorpe was being recognized on the field, alongside A's pitcher Sonny Gray, when a check for $70,635 was presented by Zevia, with proceeds benefiting the American Cancer Society.
Since the inaugural event in 1999, the Oakland A's and their partners have raised nearly $1.4 million for breast cancer education and research.
Pre-game ceremonies featured more than 350 Bay Area breast cancer survivors forming a symbolic human ribbon on the field in dedication of courage and survival, the release of white doves as a symbol of hope.
A portion of the total donation includes the 11th annual "A Gift of Faith" grant, through which the A's donate $5,000 to a local charity in memory of longtime KTVU Channel 2 reporter, the late Faith Fancher. This year's grant and award were presented to Pink Access Foundation, a local charity that raises funds to fight cancer in disadvantaged communities.
Mother's Day will always be perfect to Barton
OAKLAND -- Athletics first baseman Daric Barton grew up watching his mother and uncle play softball. It's how he learned to play baseball.
Left-hander Tommy Milone has rarely had the chance to be with his mother on Mother's Day because of baseball.
Left-hander Joe Savary, who was called up from Triple-A Sacramento Friday night, hosted his mother-in-law on Mother's Day.
Third baseman Josh Donaldson and A's coaches Chip Hale and Tye Waller also hosted their mothers on Sunday, which also served as Breast Cancer Awareness Day around the Major Leagues.
In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Day, Jed Lowrie, Yoenis Cespedes, Brandon Moss Nick Punto and Josh Reddick used pink bats against the Nationals.
Punto was 2-for-4 with three RBIs to lead the contingent in a 9-1 victory over the Nationals. Overall, the five players were a combined 7-for-19, with three runs scored. Moss collected three hits, and both Lowrie and Cespedes singled.
Barton has made it a tradition to share the day with his mother, and on May 9, 2010, it was perfect.
"It's something we've been doing since I got called up," Barton said. "She was here when Dallas Braden pitched his perfect game. As long as I'm playing, I'm going to try and get her here."
It's his way of thanking her for being his biggest supporter.
"She's the reason I'm here," said Barton, who hit a home run in his only plate appearance with a pink bat as a rookie in 2008 in Texas. "We've been able to do this four or five Mother's Days now."
Milone's mom was in town Friday to watch him pitch eight scoreless innings.
"I don't get to see her on Mother's Day, so it was nice for her to be here this time," Milone said. "It's special to have her around on this special day."
Savary's mother-in-law, Lorraine, is in town to help with the birth of the Savary's first child, due at any time.
"She's always been a great support for me," Savary said. "She's going to be with us for a while and is helping big time."
His mother-in-law is a long-time family friend, who has known him all his life. In a way, she knew they would be related before he did.
"I call it a modern day arranged marriage," said Savary, who had yet to make his A's debut entering Sunday. "Our families have known each other a long time and my dad actually started suggesting that I date [my future wife]. It worked out."
Crisp tests sore neck, but remains sidelined
OAKLAND -- Coco Crisp tested his sore neck before Sunday's game and if he felt good, was scheduled to take batting practice in the cages.
Crisp left the first game of Wednesday's doubleheader with a strained neck after running into the wall catching Kyle Seager's fly ball for the final out of the fourth inning.
A's manager Bob Melvin said Crisp was feeling better but than he needed to participate in baseball activities before returning to the lineup.
Crisp missed the Washington series and will likely miss the upcoming White Sox series as well. The A's would have liked to seen Crisp playing, as he is hitting .326 at home this year.
Rick Eymer is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.