SAN DIEGO -- While all 30 Major League teams contribute prizes to the annual Winter Meetings auction, this year's event is a little extra special for the Baltimore Orioles.
In that respect, it's heartening to see that this club specifically has shot to the top of the heap in terms of offers pouring in from its fanbase.
As of mid-morning on Tuesday, a package titled "Meet Buck Showalter & Take the Lineup Card to Home Plate with Him" garnered 21 bids, with the highest coming in at $2,025. The prize includes a pregame on-field visit for four people and a meet and greet with Showalter and vice president of baseball operations Brady Anderson. One guest will take the lineup card to the umpires with Showalter before first pitch, and the group will receive center-field roof deck seats for the game.
Proceeds from the 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 Monday and will continue until Thursday at 11 p.m. ET.
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. The Orioles are offering two more packages in addition to the aforementioned meet and greet with Showalter. The other two include a round of golf with Hall of Famer Jim Palmer and former World Series MVP Rick Dempsey, and a Little League team fielding lesson from J.J. Hardy and Bobby Dickerson.
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 she continued to support the nonprofit foundation for the remainder of her life. She was with the Orioles organization for nearly 15 years, having started her career in 1999 as an intern in the public relations department. She was later named the club's public relations director in 2008.
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.