HOUSTON -- A chance to meet Astros All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve is up for grabs at the Winter Meetings charity auction that includes unprecedented baseball experiences and rare items to raise awareness and funds for cancer research.
For the third consecutive year, Major League Baseball, MLB Advanced Media, MLB Network and the 30 teams are participating in the initiative that 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.
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."
The auction will be live on MLB.com until 10 p.m. Thursday.
The winning bidder of the Astros package will receive a private meet and greet with Altuve, who won the Major League batting title this year. In addition, the winning bidder and three guests will watch batting practice from the field and receive four dugout tickets and dinner in the Diamond Club at a 2015 game (date to be mutually agreed upon).
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.