OAKLAND -- It's strange to imagine today, but 15 years ago there was no awareness or recognition of the perils of breast cancer around Major League Baseball.
It wasn't until Kathy Crowley went to her husband, A's president Michael Crowley, that the ball got rolling. Kathy Crowley brought the issue to light after her friend, Kaki Saxon Moyce, 61, was diagnosed with the disease, and felt compelled to try to make a difference.
So the A's in 1999 started Breast Cancer Awareness Day -- a daylong celebration honoring those who have battled breast cancer -- which raises funds to support research, education, advocacy and free services for cancer patients and their families throughout the Bay Area.
"It's hard to look back 15 years, but it was unheard of to take on a women's issue in a male sport, and now you can't even remember when it didn't happen," Kathy Crowley said. "It's so common. It's become a cause no one would think of not supporting."
More than 350 Bay Area breast cancer survivors formed a symbolic human ribbon on the field Sunday before the A's series finale against the Rays. The tribute also included the release of white doves as a symbol of hope. The A's donated $5,000 as a part of "A Gift of Faith" grant to a local charity in memory of longtime KTVU Channel 2 reporter, the late Faith Fancher.
The A's also raised $61,395 on Sunday with the proceeds benefiting the American Cancer Society and Cancer Prevention Institute of California. Since the inaugural event in 1999, the A's and their partners have raised more than $1.3 million for breast cancer education and research.
"The Commissioner of Baseball always talks about baseball being a social institution and having an obligation to the areas where we work, play and have our business," Mike Crowley said. "It's important. Today, like every year, it's emotional. Just to see a smile on some of these people's faces that are battling this disease makes it all worth while."
Choice among A's callups as rosters expand
OAKLAND -- With the calendar turning to September on Sunday, the A's called up outfielder Michael Choice, infielders Jemile Weeks and Andy Parrino and left-hander Pedro Figueroa as Major League rosters expanded across baseball.
Choice, the 10th overall pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft and the A's second-best prospect, batted a career-high .302 with 14 home runs and a career-high 89 RBIs in 132 games with Triple-A Sacramento and also had career highs in runs (90) and on-base percentage (.390).
The A's rewarded his performance with his first Major League callup, while Weeks, Oakland's everyday second baseman for much of 2011-12, returns to the big league club.
He batted .271 with four home runs and 40 RBIs in 130 games, adding 80 walks for a .376 on-base percentage, and he even played a bit of outfield for the first time in his career.
Parrino, making his second Major League appearance of the season, should provide defensive stability at the shortstop position, particularly in late-game situations, and Figueroa will be used mostly as a left-handed specialist.
"In the position that we're in, you add guys that are potentially not going to just sit around," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "All of these guys are here for a reason. How much playing time they get, I'm not sure at this point. And that usually plays out. But they were all brought up for a reason."
Melvin said Choice is capable of playing all outfield positions but will mostly play in the corner spots if he's to get an opportunity. He's hit .323 since the All-Star break.
"I'm swinging the bat well," Choice said. "I kind of got into a groove."
Weeks volunteered to play in the outfield in an attempt to show versatility and accelerate his return to the Majors, though with the A's outfield depth it's improbable that he plays anywhere but in the infield, which Weeks said is fine with him.
"It's a great time. It's exciting," he said. "I've been waiting for an opportunity, and when I get it I'll try to make the most of it."
Reddick feeling no soreness in injured wrist
OAKLAND -- Josh Reddick remains confident that his stint on the disabled list will take no more than the 15 days allotted as he recovers from a right wrist injury for the second time this season.
The A's right fielder received a cortisone shot on Wednesday and said he hasn't felt soreness in the past day and a half. He is eligible to return from the DL on Sept. 10.
While he's yet to pick up a bat, he hopes to take batting practice later in the week, assuming there are no complications with the healing process.
Coco Crisp received a cortisone shot to heal a similar injury in his left wrist, though the severity didn't require a DL stint. The center fielder has since returned to hit six home runs in the past 11 games, including a leadoff shot Sunday against the Rays.
"Hopefully they put in mine what they put in Coco's and I can go out there and do what he's doing," Reddick said.
• Derek Norris went 1-for-4 and caught seven innings on Saturday with Triple-A Sacramento in his first rehab start since fracturing his right toe.
Manager Bob Melvin said their were no issues with Norris' toe or his back, which kept him out with spasms in mid-August. He'll serve as the River Cats' designated hitter on Sunday before catching all nine innings on Monday in the Minor League club's last game of the season.
Norris then will have a few days to rest before he's eligible to return from the disabled list on Thursday. The A's will then have three catchers -- Norris, Kurt Suzuki and Stephen Vogt -- on their active roster, which could provide additional options for Melvin behind the plate. Norris and Suzuki both bat right-handed, while Vogt bats lefty, and all have solid rapports with the pitching staff.
Jeff Kirshman is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.