SAN FRANCISCO -- Nobody needs to remind the Giants about the compelling issue of cancer awareness.
Just last month, they played a part in the heartwarming story of Miles Scott, aka "Batkid," who gained national fame by becoming a superhero for a day. San Francisco turned into Batman's Gotham City on Nov. 15 as 5-year-old Miles, whose leukemia is in remission, rescued a damsel in distress and halted a bank robbery -- events made possible by the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
The Giants needed the help of Batkid, who concluded his day of daring deeds by liberating the club's mascot, Lou Seal, from the dastardly clutches of the Penguin at AT&T Park.
The Giants will continue their involvement in the fight against cancer with by contributing to Major League Baseball's next fund-raising effort in this realm.
Baseball's Winter Meetings include a 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 7 p.m. PT 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.
The Giants' auction items are sure to be coveted.
One is lunch with Brandon Belt, which won't be any ordinary meal. The genial first baseman enjoys blogging about his adventures in fine dining, particularly at Olive Garden restaurants.
The other experience up for grabs is a private fielding lesson with shortstop Brandon Crawford, who's on record as saying that he could spend hours gobbling up practice grounders.
The Giants have lost several members of their organizational family to cancer in recent years, which has sustained and strengthened their intent to help combat the disease.
Sue Burns, the franchise's principal owner, died of lung cancer in July 2009. Anita Sprinkles, the team's senior ticket operations manager, passed away this past July. Patrick Sanders, who worked in client relations, died in December 2011. The close-knit baseball operations crew was rocked in November 2006 when Pat Dobson, an assistant to general manager Brian Sabean, died of leukemia.
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat.