For the third consecutive year, Major League Baseball, MLB Advanced Media, MLB Network and the 30 Clubs have organized a Winter Meetings charity auction that includes unprecedented baseball experiences and rare items to raise awareness and funds for cancer research. This initiative was inspired by the numerous employees, friends and fans of the game who have been directly affected by cancer.
Funds raised from this year's auction will be donated to LUNGevity, the largest national lung cancer-focused nonprofit, in memory of the late Baltimore Orioles Public Relations Director Monica Barlow, who fought a valiant battle with lung cancer until her passing in February of this year. Barlow and her family were enthusiastic supporters of LUNGevity, and the Baseball family will set out to continue her efforts. To commemorate the launch of the auction, representatives from Major League Baseball, the Orioles and LUNGevity will join to participate in a special moment at 1:30 p.m. (PT) on Monday in Grand Hall A/B at the Manchester Grand Hyatt San Diego.
Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig said: "Major League Baseball is honored to conduct fundraising efforts for LUNGevity in memory of Monica Barlow. As a social institution with important social responsibilities, our game's most valuable opportunities are those that make an impact on the lives of others. It is our privilege to contribute to an extraordinary cause."
"LUNGevity, the Orioles and the Major League Baseball family were heartbroken to lose one of our own this year, but Monica Barlow's legacy will live on in the research that is funded and the new treatments that are being developed," said Andrea Ferris, president and chairman of LUNGevity Foundation. "We are honored that Major League Baseball has chosen LUNGevity Foundation as the beneficiary for the Winter Meetings philanthropic auction. One cannot underestimate the impact that MLB's support can have on lung cancer and we look forward to working closely with them and the 30 Clubs in the future. Their generosity and the generosity of those who support the auction will increase LUNGevity's ability to invest in innovative scientific research that has the potential to reshape outcomes for people living with lung cancer."
The auction begins at 9:00 p.m. (PT) today and will be live on MLB.com until Thursday, December 11th at 8:00 p.m. (PT). Following are some of the items supporters can bid on, with a full list here.
- Golf outings with Hall of Famer Jim Palmer and World Series MVP Rick Dempsey or Hall of Famer Jim Rice
- Take batting practice on the field at Comerica Park or Progressive Field, or play catch in the outfield at Wrigley Field
- Bring a player from the Philadelphia Phillies to work, or win a Phillies Spring Training Fan Experience for four
- Meet stars like American League MVP Mike Trout, Giancarlo Stanton, American League batting champion Jose Altuve, Todd Frazier, Jay Bruce, Craig Kimbrel and more
- Be an Oakland A's intern, a Tampa Bay Rays clubhouse attendant, or Miami Marlins bat boy or bat girl for the day
- Shadow San Diego Padres General Manager A.J. Preller, meet New York Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman and watch a live game from his suite, or watch a game with New York Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson and his assistants
- Spend the day with the World Series Trophy
- Receive an All-Star media experience, including two pre-game field access credentials to the Home Run Derby and All-Star Game, two passes to various media events including press conferences, player availability and the All-Star Gala, plus a meet-and-greet with Hall of Famer Joe Torre, MLB's Chief Baseball Officer
- Take the lineup card to home plate with Orioles Manager Buck Showalter or Texas Rangers Manager Jeff Banister
- Get a private pitching lesson from Cy Young Award winners CC Sabathia or Dwight Gooden, or renowned pitching coaches Dave Duncan or Juan Nieves
- Get your hair cut by New York Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom, the 2014 National League Rookie of the Year
- Meet-and-greets with Hall of Fame broadcasters Vin Scully or Bob Uecker
- Be a MLB.com correspondent for the day
- Go bowling with San Francisco Giants three-time World Series Champion left-handers Jeremy Affeldt and Javier Lopez
- Meet and greet with 2015 St. Louis Cardinals All-Star players
- Have Hall of Famer Tony La Russa manage your child's Little League team, or get them a fielding lesson at Camden Yards with All-Star shortstop JJ Hardy
- Have lunch with the Rays' starting rotation, Texas Rangers pitcher Derek Holland, or with 2014 National League Manager of the Year Matt Williams and his Washington Nationals coaching staff
- Take part in a private pottery session with the Milwaukee Brewers infielder Scooter Gennett
- Autographed memorabilia from Hall of Famers like the late Tony Gwynn, Al Kaline, Dave Winfield, Frank Thomas and Joe Torre
About LUNGevity Foundation (www.LUNGevity.org)
LUNGevity Foundation is firmly committed to making an immediate impact on increasing quality of life and survivorship of people with lung cancer by accelerating research into early detection and more effective treatments, as well as providing community, support and education for all those affected by the disease. The goal is to create a world where no one dies from lung cancer.
LUNGevity was founded in 2001 by seven lung cancer survivors, and tens of thousands of others affected by lung cancer have joined in the years since. We will continue to build on that dedication and momentum to inspire the nation to commit to ending lung cancer.