Jerome Williams is juggling a number of glove interests this season.
The Phillies pitcher began using a pink glove during his comeback season in 2011 as an honor to his mom, Deborah, who died of breast cancer in 2001.
“It was 10 years after she died and a way to remember her,” Williams said Monday. “It worked out well for me that year, returning to the majors for the first time in four years, so I decided to keep using that pink glove.”
This off-season Williams decided to take it to another level entirely. The 33-year-old right-hander from Hawaii asked his glove manufacturer, Woodz, to produce additional gloves for him in green, gold, purple and baby blue.
The green one is meant to raise awareness for liver cancer; the gold for childhood cancer; the purple for pancreatic cancer, and the baby blue for prostate cancer.
“One of the things I noticed with the pink glove is that people, other players, ask about it and it gave me an opportunity to speak about breast cancer and raise awareness,” Williams said, noting that the gloves would also be auctioned to benefit the American Cancer Society.
“So I figured that if I had different color gloves for these other types of cancers I would be asked even more questions and have even more opportunities to raise people’s awareness.”
Williams reports that several weeks into Spring Training each of the gloves, which he alternates by day in practice, is sufficiently broken in to use in a game situation.
And as if five gloves isn’t enough, Williams is beginning to consider a sixth.
“I’d like to raise awareness about autism, too,” he said. “I’m going to look into getting a glove for that.”