The UMPS CARE Charities online auction is going on right now at www.UmpsCare.com, and the items up for bid are steeped in sports lore.
There's a batting practice experience with a Major League team, tickets to the All-Star Game, a round of golf with an NFL Hall of Famer and a lot more. The proceeds will support UMPS CARE Charities youth programs, including Build-A-Bear Workshops for hospitalized children coping with cancer, as well as tickets to big league baseball games for children awaiting adoption.
UMPS CARE Charities is the official charity of Major League Baseball umpires.
"Our online auction gives sports fans the opportunity to participate in some once-in-a-lifetime experiences with their favorite sports heroes while helping seriously ill and at-risk children," said MLB umpire Jim Reynolds. "We urge fans to visit the UMPS CARE Charities Web site before time runs out."
Fans will need to hurry to submit their bids on signed memorabilia from baseball greats Alex Rodriguez, Sandy Koufax, Nolan Ryan and Willie Mays, as well as hockey legend Wayne Gretzky, because the online auction ends on Jan. 20.
Other items include lunch with an umpire, a trip to a Tampa hospital with MLB umpires and two Rays tickets, one set of 30 MLB Authentic Collection home game caps, Braves tickets and autographed baseballs from Tim Hudson and Jeff Francoeur, baseballs, jerseys, bats, a round of golf with Chicago Bears Hall of Famer Dick Butkus, an autographed football from Butkus with a Hall of Fame inscription and much more.
Following the online auction, a live auction will be held on Jan. 22 in conjunction with the fourth annual UMPS CARE Charities Golf Classic in Scottsdale, Ariz. For more information, or to bid on items, visit www.UmpsCare.com. Winning bidders will be notified after Jan. 22.
Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.