Charity auction generating big bids for worthy cause

Auction to benefit lung cancer research runs until 11 ET tonight

Charity auction generating big bids for worthy cause

As the Winter Meetings draw to a close, the annual auction that has accompanied the industry-wide convention for the past three years has also hit the stretch drive.

Overnight, an additional $25,000 was raised, bringing the grand total of the auction to a little more than $106,000.

And there's still a few hours left to bid.

The Winter Meetings auction, which will close Thursday night at 11 p.m. ET, raises funds that go toward cancer research, in conjunction with Major League Baseball's long-standing partnership with Stand Up To Cancer. This year, the sponsors of the auction -- MLB, MLB Advanced Media, MLB Network and the 30 Clubs -- included a subsidiary for which to raise funds: the LUNGevity Foundation, in memory of Orioles PR director Monica Barlow.

All 30 teams contributed unique prizes that could only be compiled by a group of people with special insider access to baseball's players and front offices. Several items drew significant attention, with lucrative offers pouring in all week.

Ben Barlow on wife's legacy

For example:

An Orioles meet-and-greet with manager Buck Showalter that includes a pregame, on-field visit for four people and one guest taking the lineup card to the umpires with Showalter, has generated 32 bids, with the highest coming in at $2,551.

In Detroit, a package of autographed baseballs signed by Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander, four tickets to a game, a ceremonial first pitch and a batting practice viewing has drawn 36 bids, the highest reaching $3,050.

The Indians portion of the auction saw a recent surge, with a package including taking batting practice and meeting Terry Francona drawing 22 bids, the highest hitting $2,225.

Showalter on LUNGevity cause

The Dodgers' offering of a meet-and-greet with legendary Dodgers announcer Vin Scully enjoyed a big spike overnight, reaching 24 bids by Thursday morning with the highest registering at $3,913.

Major League Baseball's once-in-a-lifetime All-Star experience is among the most popular of all items. The package, which includes field passes to the Home Run Derby, meeting Joe Torre on the field, two seats to the game, access to news conferences and tickets to the All-Star Gala, has garnered 58 bids, with the highest coming in at a whopping $8,152.

Rawitch on LUNGevity cause

Yankees GM Brian Cashman leads the pack with his offering to watch a home game from his suite at Yankee Stadium next season. Of 29 bids that have been recorded, the highest is $7,525.

The second-highest of the bunch is lunch with Nationals manager Matt Williams and his coaching staff, a package worth, so far, $6,025 and 13 bids.

Proceeds from this auction, which is presented by Major League Baseball, MLB Advanced Media, MLB Network and the 30 Clubs, will go toward the LUNGevity Foundation, in memory of Baltimore Orioles public relations director Monica Barlow, who passed away from lung cancer in February at the age of 36.

LUNGevity partners with MLB

Over the first two years, funds raised from the Winter Meetings auction, benefitting Stand Up to Cancer, raised approximately $250,000. The money raised this year will go toward cutting edge lung cancer research with the potential to prolong and save millions of lives, through the efforts of LUNGevity.

Barlow, a non-smoker and marathon runner whose disease was discovered after she sought medical attention for a nagging cough that wouldn't go away, began working with LUNGevity approximately two months after she was diagnosed and continued to support the non-profit foundation for the remainder of her life.

Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.