Blue Jays create auction for wildfire victims

Blue Jays create auction for wildfire victims

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays have created a special auction of memorabilia with all proceeds going to the Canadian Red Cross to help those impacted by the fires in Fort McMurray, Alberta.

The auction will run until May 15 at 8 p.m. ET and includes special items such as a signed bat by Russell Martin that was used in Toronto's walk-off win over the Rangers on May 4.

Other items up for grabs include signed bats from Michael Saunders and Jose Bautista, signed jerseys from Bautista and Martin and a home run ball that Troy Tulowitzki used in the 2014 Home Run Derby.

Toronto also made some memorabilia available from its all-time greats. There are signed photos by George Bell, Lloyd Moseby, Duane Ward and Devon White. Plus, there's also a Cooperstown Blue Jays jersey signed by Moseby as well.

The mission for the Canadian Red Cross is to "improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity in Canada and around the world. Here in Canada and overseas, the Red Cross stands ready to help people before, during and after a disaster."

Those words hit home for Canadians this week following the current tragedy in Fort McMurray. A massive wildfire in that area continues to burn, and as of Thursday, the impacted zone had spread to more than 850 square kilometers. More than 80,000 people had to flee their homes under a mandatory evacuation order in the city that has seen widespread devastation.

Toronto's official Twitter account also encouraged people to make a $10 donation to Red Cross by texting FIRES to 45678 on any mobile phone. On Wednesday, Toronto's ownership group Rogers Communications announced it was making a $100,000 donation to the Red Cross, and the Canadian government has vowed to match any personal donations made across the country.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.