MLB.com/SU2C Auction has amazing opportunities
By Mark Newman / 12/03/12 3:00 PM ET
You could pose with Evan Longoria and David Price in the Rays' 2013 team picture, get a guitar lesson from Bronson Arroyo, ride the Orioles' team bus to an Interleague game against the Nationals, have a clubhouse lunch with new Red Sox manager John Farrell, get a clubhouse tour from Troy Tulowitzki or have Milwaukee's Racing Sausages show up at your kid's birthday party.
You could intern for a day in the Yankees' public-relations department, be on the field for Josh Reddick's Gold Glove Award presentation in April, have breakfast with Hunter Pence or the Phillie Phanatic, get private lessons from MLB pitching and hitting coaches, shoot a round of golf with Ian Kennedy, be groundskeeper for a day or have Drew Storen and Tyler Clippard visit a child's classroom and eat lunch with them at school.
You could meet and/or get autographed items from 16 Hall of Famers, get signatures from today's stars and legends past, and best of all, you could help in the fight against cancer, which at present will be diagnosed in one out of every two men and one of every three women.
Bidding is under way through 11:59 p.m. ET on Thursday in an unprecedented MLB.com Auction that will benefit Stand Up To Cancer, which Major League Baseball has supported since 2008 as founding sponsor. The auction was announced at a news conference Monday at the Winter Meetings in Nashville, Tenn., where PR representatives for all 30 clubs and MLB and SU2C officials stood up to cancer in a show of solidarity, now a familiar scene at the World Series and All-Star Game.
There never has been an auction quite like MLB.com/SU2CAuction, and that is mainly the result of club PR directors who got together on a mission that is very personal in nature. Many of them work with club personnel who have been diagnosed with cancer, and this became a unified effort to use their unique access and list at least 70 items that almost make it hard to choose.
"I can't believe the creativity that went into these," SU2C co-founder Sue Schwartz said. "This just takes my breath away, all the support of the PR staffs and the individual teams. MLB has been enormously supportive of Stand Up To Cancer since Day 1, not only financially, but from a marketing perspective, and to see the teams come through like this and see the PR people pull all these amazing experiences together is just awe-inspiring. This means Stand Up To Cancer has really penetrated the whole ethos of MLB, and we are so grateful.
"The auction gives the fans a chance to have incredible baseball experiences, and with the added benefit of contributing to the critically needed research that has to be done to make cancer a disease people can live with instead of die from."
Jacqueline Parkes, MLB senior vice president of advertising and marketing, credited the initiative of the clubs and said the goal of the SU2C Auction is that it becomes an annual event that increasingly raises more funds and awareness in this ongoing effort.
"These are opportunities of a lifetime that hopefully will change the lives of people who are battling cancer," Parkes said. "This effort by all 30 club PR directors is an unbelievable example of how individual people can make a difference and impact the lives of others. It's amazing to us and we could not be more grateful. It really carries forward the commitment of Commissioner Bud Selig and Sue Selig as an example of partnering with Stand Up To Cancer, because so many people are affected by the disease. It speaks volumes about how baseball cares about the community of those places where we live and play."
The auction includes participation via meet-and-greet and/or autographed items from 16 Hall of Famers: Hank Aaron, Roberto Alomar, Bert Blyleven, Orlando Cepeda, Andre Dawson, Carlton Fisk, Al Kaline, Tommy Lasorda, Juan Marichal, Willie Mays, Bill Mazeroski, Willie McCovey, Tony Perez, Gaylord Perry, Jim Rice and Nolan Ryan. Three others honored at Cooperstown have agreed to lend their involvement: broadcasting award winners Denny Matthews and Vin Scully, as well as Roland Hemond, 2011 recipient of the Hall's Buck O'Neil Lifetime Achievement Award.
Meet-and-greets or unique experiences were donated by at least 15 current or former All-Stars: Don Baylor, Kirk Gibson, Rick Honeycutt, Tim Hudson, Craig Kimbrel, Brian McCann, Charles Nagy, Giancarlo Stanton and 2012 American League Rookie of the Year Mike Trout -- in addition to Arroyo, Clippard, Longoria, Pence, Price and Tulowitzki.
Listed are autographed items from more of the game's best current and former players, including Jeff Bagwell, Jose Bautista, Craig Biggio, Miguel Cabrera, Adam Dunn, Todd Helton, Felix Hernandez, Chipper Jones, Paul Konerko, Dale Murphy and Frank Thomas.
Just consider auction examples like these:
From the D-backs, the executive experience includes a one-hour lunch for two with general manager Kevin Towers and the legendary executive Hemond, a VIP press box tour before the game, where you'll visit the D-backs' broadcast team (Bob Brenly, Steve Berthiaume, Greg Schulte and Tom Candiotti), plus dinner in the press box and four VIP seats to a game.
From the Cardinals, participate in Photo Day at Spring Training in Jupiter, Fla. Stay in the team hotel and arrive at the spring complex by 7 a.m. the next day to participate in Photo Day, as the big-leaguers go station-to-station having their photos taken by trading card companies, stadium scoreboard operators, ESPN and FOX TV productions, video game producers and the team photographer. The winning bidder also gets his or her own personalized authentic Cardinals jersey and hat to wear through Photo Day and keep as a souvenir of their day, then spends the morning watching the team work out, and there is an individual photo from the team photographer as a keepsake of that experience.
From the Marlins, the Stanton package includes a game-used bat and autographed ball from him, four tickets to a mutually agreed upon Marlins Spring Training game in Jupiter, Fla., with the opportunity to watch batting practice on the field and meet Stanton during BP.
You could even bid on a Wiffle ball game for 12 inside MLB Network's Studio 42 in Secaucus, N.J., with a special appearance by Network talent. The list goes on.
"With so many of our friends and colleagues recently dealing with cancer, we felt that it was time for us to stand up, and the Winter Meetings present the only opportunity each year when all 30 managers, GMs and all of the media come together," said Josh Rawitch, D-backs senior vice president of communications. "With the unique access we are all fortunate to have to some of the game's greatest treasures, it's really our responsibility to do our part, and we hope this is only the beginning."
SU2C is coming off its third televised roadblock, held in September at the University of Southern California, where more than $81 million was raised. Commissioner Selig and MLB officials and some club owners were in attendance there.
"That, coupled with the money we've raised since our inception, we are able to put together Dream Teams of scientists from across the various disciplines of medicine, as well as young investigators, and we are making progress," Schwartz said. "Because of the support of MLB and the public at large, we are able to have seven Dream Teams up and running, we have funded 20 Innovative Research Grants, and we have people living with cancer today that would not have had that that opportunity if not for the public's support of the fight against cancer."