MLB “Stand Up To Cancer” Auction Features One of a Kind Items

I don’t know if there is anyone reading this who hasn’t been affected in some way by cancer.  Neighbors, friends, family–the terrible disease doesn’t discriminate who it hits.  It has also touched many in Major League Baseball, including, recently, a number of my colleagues in the MLB PR ranks.

With cancer hitting so close to home and hitting many of our own, MLB and its 30 Clubs organized a charity auction benefiting Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), featuring a number of priceless baseball experiences that only the MLB Clubs can offer.  Inspired by those cases of public relations officials in the sport who with cancer in recent years,  Josh Rawitch, Senior VP of Communications for the Arizona Diamondbacks formally announced the initiative today at a press conference in Nashville.

“With so many of our friends and colleagues recently affected by cancer, we felt it was time for us to stand up and the Winter Meetings present the only opportunity each year when all 30 managers, general managers and all of the media come together,” said Rawitch.  “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.”

Mike Vassallo and I before the SU2C press conference.  He was standing up for his grandmother, I was standing up for my grandfather.

Mike Vassallo and I before the SU2C press conference. He was standing up for his grandmother, I was standing up for my grandfather.

As Rawitch addressed the media, the MLB Club PR staffs surrounded him on and around the stage, showing support for our colleagues and our willingness to “Stand Up To Cancer” ourselves.  It was great to be up on stage with 70 of my peers who all held placards with names of people they were standing up for.

The auction is live now on and will last through Thursday, at 10:59 p.m. CT.  Over 70 experiences–many never offered anywhere ever before and many that will probably never be offered again–were donated by the 30 MLB Clubs and MLB itself.  Some of my favorites include the following:

– A Vin Scully meet and greet.

– An opportunity to ride the Orioles’ team bus from a road game in Washington D.C.

– Batting practice opportunities, pitching lessons from MLB coaches or lunch with a general manager.

– A one-day internship in the Yankees media relations department.

– A 2013 MLB All-Star package that is first-class and VIP the entire way.

And, my personal, hometown favorite…

– A visit at your home from the Milwaukee Brewers Famous Racing Sausages and Dave Nelson.

The creativity and uniqueness of these auction experiences are like nothing I have ever seen.  The thought my MLB colleagues put into making this a special auction shows how important this issue is to everyone.

My MLB PR colleagues today at the SU2C press conference.

My MLB PR colleagues today at the SU2C press conference.

“The PR executives of the 30 clubs have assembled a truly unprecedented collection of auction items,” said Jacqueline Parkes, Major League Baseball’s Chief Marketing Officer. “This auction gives fans the chance to have an unforgettable baseball experience while contributing to the critically important work of Stand Up To Cancer.”

The complete list of auction items can be found here.

Josh Rawitch addresses the media during today's press conference.

Josh Rawitch addresses the media during today’s press conference.

“Major League Baseball has consistently engaged fans in joining our movement, having them literally stand up by the tens of thousands in stadiums across the country to show their unity in fighting cancer,” said Kathleen Lobb, Entertainment Industry Foundation Senior Vice President and Stand Up To Cancer co-founder. “Yet again, the 30 clubs have shown their deep commitment to this cause by creating these unbelievable experiences for the auction.”

Today, I was very proud to be up on that stage, not only to support my colleagues, friends and family who have dealt with cancer, but also those who I don’t know who battle the terrible disease everyday.


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