NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Home to this year's Winter Meetings, Nashville's Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center also ushered in a heartwarming initiative Monday.
These Winter Meetings include an MLB.com Auction to benefit Stand Up To Cancer, which MLB has supported since 2008 as founding sponsor.
Public relations representatives from all 30 clubs were inspired to act based on individual club members impacted by the disease, and they jointly organized the auction and announced it Monday in Nashville with MLB staff.
Bidding closes at 8:59 p.m. PT on Thursday, with more than 70 baseball-related experiences ranging from clubhouse tours by players to lunches with general managers to team bus rides to meet-and-greets with 14 Hall of Fame players.
The A's have put some intriguing items up for auction.
One includes four Field Level tickets and an on-field batting practice visit that will feature a meet-and-greet with outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, who will provide autographs and photos. This package also includes an MLB-authenticated autographed Cespedes jersey.
Fellow outfielder Josh Reddick will host a meet-and-greet for winners of the "Gold Glove package," which includes two Field Level tickets and an on-field batting practice visit for Opening Night. These two lucky fans will be able to remain on the field during the pregame presentation of the Gold Glove Award to Reddick.
For fans interested in chatting with the club's head honchos, the "Executive and Manager of the Year package" is intriguing. This auction item includes four Field Level tickets and an on-field batting practice visit for these ticket holders at a home game that will be preceded by a meet-and-greet with Sporting News Executive of the Year Billy Beane and American League Manager of the Year Bob Melvin. Also included is a professional photograph taken by the A's team photographer, which will be printed and then personalized and autographed by both Beane and Melvin.
Finally, the A's are offering a season-kickoff luncheon package for four. One lucky fan and three guests will have the opportunity to join the team for an exclusive luncheon on Jan. 28 in the East Bay to kick off the 2013 season. Each year the A's host this event to introduce members of the team and coaching staff to sponsors and create excitement for the upcoming season. A's executives, coaches and current and former players are scheduled to attend. This luncheon will take place from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
"The PR executives of the 30 clubs have assembled a truly unprecedented collection of auction items," said Jacqueline Parkes, MLB'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."
Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.