LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Imagine Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon walking into your kid's school with a pizza in hand and baseball on the brain.
In what could be the greatest version of Show and Tell in history, the Washington Nationals are offering just that -- lunch with two of their star players at your kid's school, all in the name of charity.
The package is part of MLB.com's Auction to benefit Stand Up to Cancer (SU2C), which MLB has supported since 2008. Bidding for the Harper/Rendon prize, which will include a pizza lunch and an exlusive kids-only Q&A, runs through 10 p.m. ET on Thursday. As of 5 p.m. ET Monday, the item had garnered a high bid of $1,525. And it's only the first day.
Baseball's Winter Meetings this week include an MLB.com Auction to benefit Stand Up To Cancer, for which MLB is a 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 Lake Buena Vista with MLB staff.
Among the 30 teams, 80 baseball-related experiences have been donated, 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 lunch with Harper and Rendon is one of two Nats items up for bid, with the other being a fan having the opportunity to hang out with the Nationals' grounds crew for a day (minimum bid: $500). The winner and three guests will watch batting practice from the field, and when the guests head to their seats for the game, the winner joins the grounds crew one hour prior to first pitch and will remain with them until the fourth inning. The winner must be age 12 or older.
Last year, the auction raised more than $150,000. Major League Baseball and its 30 clubs are the founding partners of Stand Up To Cancer and a lead donor since 2008, committing more than $40 million. As the initiative's founding donor, MLB has collaborated with Stand Up To Cancer on significant awareness-building efforts, including public service announcements, in-stadium promotion and fundraising events, and a World Series game has been dedicated to the initiative for each of the past three years.
Every team has donated at least one item or experience, with most teams offering up multiple donations.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. Alyson Footer is a reporter for MLB.com.