Blue Jays taking part in auction to honor Forde

Blue Jays taking part in auction to honor Forde

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The Blue Jays are auctioning off a personal meet-and-greet with right-hander Aaron Sanchez to raise funds for youth baseball and softball in Little Ferry, N.J.

The MLB Play Ball charity auction is designed to honor former Mets senior director of media relations Shannon Forde, who lost her battle with breast cancer earlier this year. The funds will be used to build a field in her hometown to ensure a lasting legacy.

• Bid now in Play Ball charity auction

There are more than 100 unique baseball related experiences and memorabilia packages available in the auction. Toronto's experience centers around Sanchez but it will also include four passes to watch batting practice, four Blue Jays hats and also four Sanchez jerseys.

The starting price for Sanchez's package is $1,000 US with bids being accepted in $25 increments. Bids will be accepted until Thursday at 9 p.m. ET, with all of the information available at MLB.com/Shannon.

"The Shannon Forde Field will be exactly across where she grew up in Little Ferry, New Jersey," said Jay Horwitz, who is a longtime employee in the Mets' PR department. "It was her parents' house. It's the same field she played on with her sister Alicia and her niece when she was a kid. It's the same field that her father Mike coached softball for years and years.

"It's the same field which her young kids, Nicki and Kendall, will play for years and years. Nicki is 9 and Kendall is 6, and they probably don't know what kind of a person her mother was. Hopefully, in years to come, when they look up and see Shannon Forde Field, they get an idea of what kind of mom they had."

Some of the other items up for grabs includes dinner with former Arizona players Randy Johnson and Luis Gonzalez, a spring workout session with former Baltimore outfielder Brady Anderson, honorary captain title for the Reds, which would involve delivering the Reds' lineup to the home-plate umpire, and on-field batting practice with the Indians.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com 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.