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La Russa headed back to Little League for auction

D-backs participate in league-wide initiative for LUNGevity

SAN DIEGO -- Tony La Russa won 2,728 games during his Hall of Fame managing career, third-most of all time.

How would he do at the helm of your child's Little League team?

Well, now you can find out. Having La Russa manage your child's Little League team is one of the three unique experiences the D-backs are auctioning off to benefit LUNGevity, the largest national lung cancer-focused nonprofit organization.

La Russa will manage one game of the winning bidder's Little League team as long as it is located in the greater Phoenix area.

For the third consecutive year, Major League Baseball, MLB Advanced Media, MLB Network and the 30 clubs have organized the auction that includes unprecedented baseball experiences and rare items to raise awareness and funds for cancer research.

The announcement of the charity auction was made Monday at the Winter Meetings. The auction will be featured on until Thursday at 9 p.m. MT.

Another experience up for auction is a private pitching lesson with D-backs special assistant, Dave Duncan, widely regarded as one of the best pitching coaches the game has seen.

Fans can also bid on a lunch with All-Star first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, Luis Gonzalez and J.J. Putz.

Following lunch, the winning bidder and three guests will be treated to a private tour of Chase Field and the opportunity to watch batting practice on the field, meet a D-backs player or coach and have your picture taken in the dugout. Also included are Infield Box seats for that night's game.

Funds raised from this year's auction will be donated to LUNGevity in memory of the late Baltimore Orioles public relations director Monica Barlow, who battled lung cancer until her passing in February.

"Major League Baseball is honored to conduct fundraising efforts for LUNGevity in memory of Monica Barlow," Major League Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig said in a statement. "As a social institution with important social responsibilities, our game's most valuable opportunities are those that make an impact on the lives of others. It is our privilege to contribute to an extraordinary cause."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.
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