Pregame meeting with Cruz up for auction

King's Court, broadcast booth packages also offered

Pregame meeting with Cruz up for auction

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A chance to meet Nelson Cruz and watch the slugger take batting practice on the field before a game at Safeco Field next season is among the auction items offered by the Mariners as part of Major League Baseball's annual fundraising event to fight cancer.

The online auction has raised nearly $500,000 since its inception four years ago, and a significant portion of the proceeds from this year's event will go to Stand Up To Cancer, a longtime partner of Major League Baseball, its founding donor in 2008.

In addition, this year's event will benefit Do It For Durrett, in honor of the late Texas Rangers ESPN.com reporter Richard Durrett, who passed away suddenly last year, and the YouCaring page established for Miami Marlins Sun Sentinel beat reporter Juan C. Rodriguez, who is battling a brain tumor.

The auction is live on MLB.com until Thursday at 6 p.m. PT.

The Cruz package includes four Main Level tickets, an autographed baseball and four pregame guest passes to watch the Mariners batting practice, followed by a meet-and-greet session with Seattle's slugger prior to a mutually agreeable game during the 2016 regular season, excluding the home opener.

The Mariners are also offering a "King's Court experience" that includes four tickets to sit in the special section during one of Felix Hernandez's 2016 starts at Safeco Field, excluding the home opener, along with an autographed baseball from Hernandez, King's Court T-shirts and "K" cards.

A third auction item provides the winning bidder the opportunity to meet Mariners broadcasters Rick Rizzs and Aaron Goldsmith and watch an inning in the radio booth during a game. That package also includes four Main Level tickets.

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB, read his Mariners Musings blog, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.