Major League Baseball, MLB Advanced Media, MLB Network and all 30 MLB Clubs raised more than $235,000 via online bids and personal donations through the PLAY BALL Charity Auction, which was launched during Baseball's Winter Meetings to go toward the renovation of an existing youth baseball and softball field in memory of late New York Mets public relations executive Shannon Forde. The renovations to the field in Forde's hometown of Little Ferry, N.J., which will be renamed to "Shannon Forde Field," will be funded through MLB Charities and include dugouts with protective fencing and benches, perimeter fencing, bleachers, backstop, and scoreboard and field signs. MLB will work with the Borough of Little Ferry and the local Police Activities League on the project and future youth programming.
This year's charity auction total marked the most money raised since the initiative's inception in 2012, eclipsing last year's record-high amount. This effort has now raised more than $900,000 for causes related to cancer.
The highest selling individual experience was the 2017 MLB All-Star Experience, featuring tickets to all All-Star Week events at Marlins Park in Miami, Florida. The package, which raised more than $20,000, also features a meet and greet with Hall of Fame Manager and MLB Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre. Other top-selling individual experiences include:
• Dinner with SNY Announcers Keith Hernandez, Ron Darling and Gary Cohen ($13,575)
• Two 'Intern For A Day' Experiences with the New York Mets ($15,425 -- total)
• Baltimore Orioles Spring Training Workout and Lunch with Brady Anderson ($7,075)
• Dream Day at the Confines of Wrigley Field with the Chicago Cubs ($6,275)
• Meet and Greet with Mike Trout and Mike Scioscia via the Los Angeles Angels ($6,150)
The 2016 PLAY BALL Charity Auction was launched during Baseball's annual Winter Meetings in National Harbor, Maryland and featured a wide array of unique Major League experiences and items. The initiative was inspired by the numerous employees, friends and fans of the game who have been affected by cancer.