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Tigers' MVP Package drawing interest at auction

Fantasy batting, fielding practice along with club tickets up for bids

SAN DIEGO -- The Tigers are one of a handful of teams garnering significant bids in this year's Winter Meetings auction thanks to an enticing package of unique offerings that cannot be matched anywhere else.

The Tigers are offering a doozy of an experience titled "MVP Package & Ceremonial First Pitch," and as of early afternoon on Tuesday, it had drawn 21 bids: Included are autographed baseballs signed by All-Star first baseman Miguel Cabrera and pitcher Justin Verlander, along with four tickets to a mutually agreed-upon home game during April or May, and the winner will have the opportunity to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the game.

Prior to that game, the winner and three guests will watch batting practice from the field and enjoy dinner in the exclusive Tiger Club.

The highest bid for this package has already reached $2,025.

Proceeds from the auction, presented by Major League Baseball, MLB Advanced Media, MLB Network and the 30 clubs, will go toward the LUNGevity Foundation, in memory of Baltimore Orioles public relations director Monica Barlow, who passed away from lung cancer in February at the age of 36.

The auction began on Sunday night and will continue until Thursday at 11 p.m. ET.

All 30 teams have contributed prizes that could only be compiled by a group of people who have insider access to baseball's players and front offices.

In addition to the aforementioned package, the Tigers are offering two other prizes.

The first is a World Series fantasy batting practice experience, through which the winning bidder will have the opportunity to face 1984 World Series pitcher Dave Rozema at Comerica Park, play the outfield during Tigers batting practice that day and play catch on the field. They will also have their photo taken in the dugout and enjoy four tickets to that night's game, either in June or July (date to be mutually agreed-upon).

The other prize is an Al Kaline autographed bat and baseball.

Over the first two years since its inception, the Winter Meetings auction, benefiting Stand Up To Cancer, has raised approximately $250,000. The money raised this year, through the efforts of LUNGevity, will go toward cutting-edge lung-cancer research with the potential to prolong and save millions of lives.

Barlow, a non-smoker and marathon runner whose cancer was discovered after she sought medical attention for a nagging cough that wouldn't go away, began working with LUNGevity approximately two months after she was diagnosed and continued to support the nonprofit foundation for the remainder of her life.

Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter.
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