LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The MLB.com Stand Up To Cancer auction is entering the final stretch run, and with a few hours left before bidding closes, more than $70,000 has been raised.
A total of 593 bids have been placed, with 47,151 page views registering from prospective bidders spanning from coast to coast. One of the most popular items -- a school visit by Nationals players Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon -- is currently up to $3,026, having generated 10 bids.
Lunch with Hall of Famer and current Phillies manager Ryne Sandberg at Del Frisco's has received 31 bids, the highest reaching $2,540. Bidding for the Yankees' "Intern For A Day" offering is up to $2,520. A private clubhouse and dugout tour with Twins All-Star Glen Perkins has raised $1,220, spanning 12 bids.
Bidding closes at 10 p.m. ET 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 MLB.com Auction to benefit Stand Up To Cancer is part of a much larger initiative that 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.
Three MLB PR representatives have been dealing with the cancer for the past several years: Shannon Forde, a long-time member of the Mets media relations staff; the Cardinals' Melody Yount, and the Orioles' Monica Barlow. Because media relations folks have a direct line to and close relationships with the ballplayers, they were able to cook up a doozy of a list of enticing prizes to offer in the auction.
The items up for bid aren't just your garden-variety signed bats and balls, although those are included in several packages. If the items seem a little over the top, they are -- on purpose. The goal is to raise as much money as possible to fight cancer, a disease that has touched the lives of just about everyone in the world in some fashion, and club employees have purposely put together a list of eye-popping items that hopefully will be irresistible to the charity-minded fan base.
Last year, the auction raised more than $150,000. Major League Baseball and its 30 clubs are the founding partners of SU2C and a lead donor since 2008, committing more than $40 million through 2014. 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.
Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter.