For the fifth consecutive year, Major League Baseball, MLB Advanced Media, MLB Network and all 30 Clubs have organized a charity auction during Baseball's annual Winter Meetings that includes once-in-a-lifetime baseball experiences and unique items to raise awareness for a special cause. This initiative, which has raised more than $685,000 since its inception, was inspired by the numerous employees, friends and fans of the game who have been affected by cancer.
This year's auction will support the renovation of an existing youth baseball and softball field, as well as youth programming, in memory of late New York Mets public relations executive Shannon Forde. The field, which will be renamed "Shannon Forde Field," is in Forde's hometown of Little Ferry, N.J. Renovations to the field will include dugouts with protective fencing and benches, perimeter fencing, bleachers, backstop, and scoreboard and field signs.
The auction is now LIVE at MLB.com/Shannon until Thursday, December 8th at 9:00 p.m. (ET). All proceeds from the auction will fund the renovations through MLB Charities. Following are some of the items supporters can now bid on, with a full list here:
- 2017 MLB All-Star Experience with two tickets to all major events during All-Star Week in Miami, including to the 88th MLB All-Star Game at Marlins Park, the T-Mobile Home Run Derby, Sirius-XM All-Star Futures Game, Celebrity & Legends Softball Game, All-Star FanFest and the All-Star Summer Gala. Package also includes a meet & greet with Hall of Fame manager and MLB Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre
- Take a pitching lesson with San Francisco Giants' right-hander Johnny Cueto
- Special Meet & Greets with Major League All-Stars: Jose Altuve, Mike Trout and others
- Special Meet & Greet Opportunities with Legends: Two-time MVP and Braves legend Dale Murphy, Cy Young Award Winner and D-backs legend Randy Johnson, Cy Young Award Winner and Dodger legend Fernando Valenzuela, or Mets broadcasters Keith Hernandez, Ron Darling & Gary Cohen
- Golf with White Sox legend Harold Baines or Rangers legend Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez
- Opportunity to hold the actual Honus Wagner T-206, part of the Diamondbacks Collection, while also getting two nights stay, golf, tickets and VIP experience with the D-backs in Spring Training or the Regular Season
- Managerial experiences with Terry Francona (Indians), Dave Roberts (Dodgers), Don Mattingly (Marlins), Joe Girardi (Yankees), Clint Hurdle (Pirates), Bud Black (Rockies), Brian Snitker (Braves), Torey Lovullo (D-backs)
- Play catch with a Cincinnati Reds player or serve as the Reds' honorary captain and take the lineup card to home plate during a game at Great American Ball Park
- "Intern For A Day" with the New York Mets, Oakland Athletics or Tampa Bay Rays
- Have the "Phillie Phanatic" or Milwaukee's "Racing Sausages" come to your birthday party or summer BBQ
Take batting practice at Progressive Field before official BP for the American League Champion Cleveland Indians
"Shannon was a special member of our baseball and communications families who touched many lives throughout our game," said Pat Courtney, Chief Communications Officer, Major League Baseball. "We all miss her very much, but are pleased to have this opportunity to ensure that her legacy lives on by giving young people, including Shannon's own children, the chance to play and watch the game that she loved at 'Shannon Forde Field.'"
Mets Chief Operating Officer Jeff Wilpon said: "Shannon Forde was part of our Mets family for 22 years. She touched so many people during her time with us. We couldn't be happier that this year's auction will be dedicated to building 'Shannon F