Win amazing MLB experiences to help hungry

April 17th, 2020

Overcoming the historic coronavirus pandemic is truly an all-hands-on-deck effort, requiring everyone to pitch in and help his or her neighbor -- whether it be through responsible social distancing or acts of kindness and charitable giving. Major League Baseball’s most famous personalities continue to be at the forefront of the fight, and their latest efforts promise to yield some truly extraordinary experiences for a few lucky fans.

MLB and its biggest names are proudly participating in Fanatics’ All In Challenge, a global, star-studded fund-raising campaign to help out those struggling the most during the coronavirus crisis. The challenge asks VIPs to offer either a once-in-a-lifetime experience or one of their most cherished possessions, with 100 percent of the proceeds from each auction going toward food aid charities, including Meals on Wheels, No Kid Hungry and America’s Food Fund (benefiting World Central Kitchen and Feeding America). Celebrities from across sports and entertainment have gone on social media to announce their participation, and have then “challenged” other stars to do the same as the fund-raiser keeps expanding.

Major League Baseball's participation is the latest extension of its efforts to ease the pain of the pandemic, including the sport's $30 million joint donation to help seasonal ballpark employees, and its announcement Thursday that 50 players are combining to provide over four million meals as part of the Home Plate Project initiative to address childhood hunger caused by COVID-19. For the All In Challenge, MLB is offering one lucky fan a thrill never to be forgotten: the opportunity to throw out the first pitch at a World Series game with millions of eyes -- and the American and National League champion clubs -- looking on. MLB is also offering a spot in the Legends & Celebrity All-Star Game during the next All-Star Weekend. Both packages include round-trip airfare, ground transportation and a hotel accommodation.

On behalf of Major League Baseball, MLB’s Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre challenged fellow Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa to join the fund-raiser. But Torre is far from the only baseball celebrity stepping up to the plate. Former Yankees superstar and current ESPN analyst Alex Rodriguez announced via Twitter that he is offering a one-hour batting lesson, followed by a one-on-one lunch where any topic is on the table. Oh, and he’s also offering one of his two 2009 World Series championship trophies.

Rodriguez’s former teammate, pitcher CC Sabathia, accepted his challenge from former New York Giants running back Tiki Barber and offered a trip to see his beloved Raiders with him from the sidelines at the NFL franchise’s new stadium in Las Vegas.

“I want to raise as much money as possible to feed those in need,” said Sabathia. “Millions have lost jobs, kids are out of school, and they’re all in need of food now more than ever.”

Sabathia passed his challenge on to Yankees stars Mariano Rivera and Aaron Judge, who responded by offering four tickets to the Legends Club at Yankee Stadium and field passes for batting practice. But that was just the beginning: Judge is also offering a private dinner with him after a game at one of his favorite restaurants in New York.

Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo got in on the fun, offering an all-access day for one fan and seven of their friends at Wrigley Field, including armfuls of game-used memorabilia from Rizzo and a dinner with the star following the game at Chicago's Steak 48 restaurant. New Cubs manager David Ross also took a timeout from preparing for the 2020 season to offer the chance for one winner and three of their friends to be his special guest for the Cubs’ first game back at Wrigley Field.

“You’ll get field passes, four tickets, a private tour of Wrigley Field, the locker room, my office, the dugout, the whole shebang,” said Ross. “You’ll get to take the lineup card out with me, be on the field for the national anthem, work the historic Wrigley Field scoreboard for half an inning and get the jersey off my back after the game -- signed.”

Ross passed the baton to Yankees manager Aaron Boone, who responded by offering a similar dream day at Yankee Stadium.

You can find all of the items up for bid here.