HOUSTON -- Want to take batting practice on the field and get a special behind-the-scenes tour of Minute Maid Park?
The Astros are offering fans the chance to bid on a rare private batting-practice experience at Minute Maid Park, where up to 20 guests will enjoy the thrill of being coached by Astros legend Jose Cruz during a one-hour session.
The package, available through Major League Baseball's Stand Up To Cancer auction, also includes photos of each participant at home plate and autographs from Cruz and fellow Astros legend Jimmy Wynn, along with a VIP tour of Minute Maid Park.
While the experience will take place on a non-game day, the package also includes a suite for 22 people to an Astros home game in 2014 (blackout dates apply) and a meet-and-greet before the game with Astros president of business operations Reid Ryan and general manager Jeff Luhnow.
Baseball's Winter Meetings this week 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, which will be officially announced at a news conference on Monday in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., with MLB staff. Bidding closes at 9 p.m. CT Thursday with 80 baseball-related experiences ranging from private pitching and batting lessons with players to lunches with general managers to team bus rides and meet-and-greets with Hall of Fame players.
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.