Cubs join MLB in auction of unique fan experiences

Bid on chance to go behind the scenes at Wrigley

Cubs join MLB in auction of unique fan experiences

SAN DIEGO -- Between the Wrigley Field makeover, the hiring of a dynamic, wildly popular manager and one of the top pitchers in baseball recently jumping on board, the North Side of Chicago should be a fun place next year -- perhaps even more fun than it normally is.

That could bode well for whoever wins the Cubs' prizes in this year's Winter Meetings auction, benefitting the LUNGevity Foundation. The Cubs are offering three packages, all which include unique experiences at the Friendly Confines next season, and all of which include tickets to a game.

Titled "Press Box Tour Package and Meet the Cubs Broadcasters," this prize includes four pregame field passes and four tickets to a game, plus an in-game tour of the Wrigley Field press box. The winner and guests will meet Cubs radio announcers Pat Hughes and Ron Coomer, and Cubs TV announcers Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies.

As of the end of the day Wednesday, the package garnered five bids, the highest totaling $600.

Next up is "Dream day," which offers four field box tickets to a game at Wrigley Field, four pregame passes to watch batting practice from the field, and a meet-and-greet with a Cubs player, which will include a photo taken on the field.

Thirteen bids have come in so far for that one, the highest totaling $1,050.

And finally, there is "Catch in the Confines," which includes four tickets to a game, four passes to watch batting practice on the field, and, prior to BP, the opportunity to play catch in the historic ballpark's outfield.

Ten bids have come in for that, with the highest topping out at $1,033.

Proceeds from the Winter Meetings auction, 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.

The auction began Sunday night and will continue until Thursday at 10 p.m. CT.

All 30 teams have contributed unique prizes that could only be compiled by a group of people which special insider access to baseball's players and front offices. 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 Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.