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Slaughter, Bochy, Feeney and Tirado on Winter Meetings Charity Auction

MLB.com

STACI SLAUGHTER: Thank you, everyone, for coming this morning. My name is Staci Slaughter. I'm the executive vice president for communications for the San Francisco Giants. I want to welcome all of you to this year's announcement of our annual Winter Meetings Charity Auction.

Public relations and communications departments throughout baseball started this program as a way to support those in the baseball family affected by cancer and other tragedies.

Each year fans have been given the opportunity to live their greatest baseball dreams by bidding on some really great items and experiences that only our sport can provide. Teams continue to step up in a significant way, and we are so grateful for the generosity and effort made by everyone who makes the request, who donates their time, and more.

I particularly want to call out Josh Rawitch from the Diamondbacks. He started this program a few years ago, and since 2012, we've raised more than $900,000 to go to important charities. This includes Stand Up to Cancer, Longevity, and we also built a field in memory of our late friend Shannon Ford.

While we have raised a lot of money for many great causes, the sad reality is we have lost too many of those close to us. Unfortunately, the reality hit all of us in a sudden and tragic way when we lost Katy Feeney in April of this year. To many of us, Katy was more than just a baseball executive whose career lasted 40 years. She was a boss, a mentor, a sister, an aunt, and a friend.

Katy was humble. She was kind and generous, and she would not -- she definitely would not have loved getting all of this attention that she's had at these Winter Meetings.

As sad as we are to not have her with us today, we could not let the opportunity pass us by to honor her extraordinary legacy in a meaningful way. So on behalf of the 30 clubs and everyone who worked for Katy or crossed her path along her incredible 40 years in this game, I am so pleased to announce that this year's Winter Meetings Charity Auction has been dedicated to her memory through the Katharine Feeney Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Our auction, which is officially now live at MLB.com/wintermeetingsauction will go until Thursday, December 14th, at 10:00 p.m. It features more than 80 of these incredible baseball items and experiences, everything from meeting the stars and legends of our game to VIP experiences in our ballpark, first pitches, and winning some of the most unique items our game can offer. This auction has everything and more, and we encourage all of the fans and everyone here to visit it as soon as possible.

Now we all know Katy may have worked in New York for so many decades, but we know her heart was always in San Francisco, and so the scholarship in her name will be centered there. The fund will support an annual scholarship for a female student at the University of San Francisco who is studying sports management. More so, the scholarship recipient will demonstrate so many of Katy's character, including her willingness to mentor others, drive to succeed, and natural tendency for leadership.

It is a great testament to Katy, and we are so honored to have the opportunity to contribute to the future success of women who want to join our game. Major League Baseball, who has been central to this auction effort from the beginning and will help facilitate the funding for the scholarship, has also honored Katy in another significant way here in Orlando.

Yesterday dozens of women executives from throughout the game participated in the inaugural Katy Feeney Leadership Symposium. To tell you more about the initiative and yesterday's program, I'd like to welcome Major League Baseball's vice president of talent and head of diversity and inclusion, Renee Tirado.

RENEE TIRADO: Thank you, Staci.

Good morning, everyone. It's an honor to be part of this press conference on behalf of Major League Baseball to celebrate and Memorialize the indelible legacy of Katharine "Katy" Feeney. Thank you to all the clubs, the PR staff, the players, the managers, and the Legends who have contributed to this year's auction. The slate of items that are available are amazing, representing a wide range of memorabilia and real experiences, showcasing some of the best memories that baseball has to offer.

This auction has become a part of who we are and remains a highlight for us during the Winter Meetings. As mentioned, in five short years, we've raised almost $1 million through the previous auctions, and we'll continue to make this grow.

While the initial motivation behind this initiative was to help fight cancer in the names of members of our baseball family affected by the disease, the true heart of this effort has been to celebrate and recognize what each of these individuals have meant to the game itself, how they've impacted our employees, and most importantly, how they have touched our communities.

It is in the name of their spirit, their kindness, their professionalism, and their legacy that has driven and continues to motivate their peers and contemporaries to fight this cause in such a meaningful way. That same mindset has applied this year for the Katy Feeney Memorial Scholarship Fund. No one will ever contest that in every sense of the word Katy was a pioneer and a leader in baseball. She serves as an inspiration for all, but especially women in the game today who had the pleasure of knowing her -- the Staci Slaughters and the Kim Inges. And her career and memory will continue to impact and be aspirational for all those young women who are following in her footsteps who entering the game now and in the future.

We are committed as a league to ensure her legacy in baseball lives on through the scholarship fund, which will provide scholarships for young women in years to come who are interested in breaking into sports, and as mentioned, the annual Katharine Feeney Leadership Symposium.

So yesterday we did host nearly 40 senior leaders, all women, representing our clubs, the office of the commissioner, advanced media, and the network. In partnership with Stanford University's graduate school of business and executive education, they received a full day of professional leadership, and they left with substantive leadership tools that they can bring back not only to their respective organizations to lead the efforts to help our sport grow and to be the future of baseball, but more importantly, to bring those tools to our communities to serve as role models and mentors and pay it forward to the next generation of female leaders in baseball.

The response was overwhelmingly positive. Thank you to the Feeney family for participating and cooperating with us and being such a big part of developing this program in her name. We could think of no better way to honor Katy than this symposium and all that she represented.

This will continue to go on for many years to come. Every year we will change the format of the symposium to include more women at different levels of the game, different people, different communities within baseball to make sure that Katy's impact is touching everybody in baseball.

So I want to thank everyone for this opportunity to speak on behalf of Major League Baseball. So I ask that you now go please bid on the auction in Katy's name. And thank you very much.

(Applause)

STACI SLAUGHTER: Thank you, Renee.

Now I would like to bring up Giants manager Bruce Bochy.

BRUCE BOCHY: Good morning. Good morning, everybody. How are we doing here today? There you go.

I was fortunate to have spent quite a few years with Katy, being named manager back in 1995. So I was honored to be able to get to know this wonderful lady and spend a lot of time with her.

Let me start with there was always a great thing to see Katy because that usually meant something really good was happening. You were in the postseason or maybe even going to the All-Star Game. I can remember a few All-Star Games I was lucky enough to attend. Being on the west coast, we'd have to fly to the east coast, and sometimes we'd get there 4:00, 5:00, 6:00 in the morning. There Katy would be in her hat smiling, glad to see all the boys got in. She kept her boys because we would come in as a group and pile on, but she got us organized and put us in the right place. I thank her for all she did for me during those postseason times and in the All-Star Game.

Katy, she was friends to all of you. She was friends to every team. But we would see her in San Francisco occasionally. I'd walk up to the dugout, and she'd be there with her hat on, where she loved to be, smiling. So I'd like to think that she did have an affinity for the San Francisco Giants with the time she spent there in the Bay Area, and of course, going to Cal Berkeley. I don't have proof of that, but I certainly think she did love her Giants.

She was just such a wonderful person. Her passion for the game and for her work was evident, how much she just loved what she did. I know for me, she helped me so many times when we're trying to get players to the podium during the postseason games to help you guys out.

We're going to miss her. We're going to continue to miss her, and it couldn't be more evident when you're having events like these Winter Meetings. Katy, we love you, and God bless Katy. Thank you.

(Applause)

STACI SLAUGHTER: Thanks, Boch.

I'd like to introduce John Feeney, who is Katy's brother. He today is joined by his brother Stoney and Stoney's wife Ann and daughters Emma and Allison.

I just want to say that the entire Feeney family has been incredibly strong during this very difficult time, but they really have taken a major role in trying to remember her legacy and do the right thing and really honor her in a meaningful way. So they have been with us hand in hand as we've been working on developing the scholarship program.

It was really their idea to create a scholarship in her memory, and it's been just an honor and a privilege to be able to work with them and to be able to create something that I think will be really special for baseball and for the Feeney family.

JOHN FEENEY: I'm John Feeney. I'm Katy's middle brother. And as I was standing outside earlier this morning, wondering where to go and what to say, I realized for the umpteenth time in the last eight months that I needed Katy to tell me what to do.

Probably the best tribute I could give to her today would be, because she didn't like being up in front here, would be over to the side with a hat on taking questions or pointing to people to take questions.

Katy was always a very special daughter, special sister. She was a very, very special aunt to my sons and to my brother's daughters. She was an aunt in a way that, for three sons that got to go to All-Star Games at the age of 13 and be treated -- you couldn't have a better aunt.

Then she became a great aunt to my grandkids, and at the memorial in New York, my son described her as Mary Poppins. She would fly in on an umbrella, sprinkle on a little magic, and then fly back out.

The last eight months and this weekend and these meetings have let us know that everybody considered her to be that type of special person. The outpouring by the baseball community and people in general has been overwhelming for us. It's been very, very, very comforting to us that other people than ourselves, many, many other people than ourselves bear the loss.

With that said, I need to thank Major League Baseball, the clubs, the PR directors, the traveling directors, the managers, just a long litany of folks that have done many, many things to help us sustain Katy's legacy. The symposium is, I believe, a wonderful, wonderful tribute to her; and going forward, we're putting together this scholarship fund because of the generosity of the PR directors in baseball.

We thank you very, very much for all you have done for our family and for the remembrance of Katy, who in our hearts will always be the special person that she was. Thank you very much.

(Applause)

STACI SLAUGHTER: Thank you, John.

At this time, we would like to take a group photo of all the PR directors and people who had the honor to work with Katy, along with the Feeney family. You guys can come on up to the stage podium, and we'll take a quick photo. Thank you so much for being here today.

Don't forget, it's MLB.com/wintermeetingsauction. Thank you.

STACI SLAUGHTER: Thank you, everyone, for coming this morning. My name is Staci Slaughter. I'm the executive vice president for communications for the San Francisco Giants. I want to welcome all of you to this year's announcement of our annual Winter Meetings Charity Auction.

Public relations and communications departments throughout baseball started this program as a way to support those in the baseball family affected by cancer and other tragedies.

Each year fans have been given the opportunity to live their greatest baseball dreams by bidding on some really great items and experiences that only our sport can provide. Teams continue to step up in a significant way, and we are so grateful for the generosity and effort made by everyone who makes the request, who donates their time, and more.

I particularly want to call out Josh Rawitch from the Diamondbacks. He started this program a few years ago, and since 2012, we've raised more than $900,000 to go to important charities. This includes Stand Up to Cancer, Longevity, and we also built a field in memory of our late friend Shannon Ford.

While we have raised a lot of money for many great causes, the sad reality is we have lost too many of those close to us. Unfortunately, the reality hit all of us in a sudden and tragic way when we lost Katy Feeney in April of this year. To many of us, Katy was more than just a baseball executive whose career lasted 40 years. She was a boss, a mentor, a sister, an aunt, and a friend.

Katy was humble. She was kind and generous, and she would not -- she definitely would not have loved getting all of this attention that she's had at these Winter Meetings.

As sad as we are to not have her with us today, we could not let the opportunity pass us by to honor her extraordinary legacy in a meaningful way. So on behalf of the 30 clubs and everyone who worked for Katy or crossed her path along her incredible 40 years in this game, I am so pleased to announce that this year's Winter Meetings Charity Auction has been dedicated to her memory through the Katharine Feeney Memorial Scholarship Fund.

Our auction, which is officially now live at MLB.com/wintermeetingsauction will go until Thursday, December 14th, at 10:00 p.m. It features more than 80 of these incredible baseball items and experiences, everything from meeting the stars and legends of our game to VIP experiences in our ballpark, first pitches, and winning some of the most unique items our game can offer. This auction has everything and more, and we encourage all of the fans and everyone here to visit it as soon as possible.

Now we all know Katy may have worked in New York for so many decades, but we know her heart was always in San Francisco, and so the scholarship in her name will be centered there. The fund will support an annual scholarship for a female student at the University of San Francisco who is studying sports management. More so, the scholarship recipient will demonstrate so many of Katy's character, including her willingness to mentor others, drive to succeed, and natural tendency for leadership.

It is a great testament to Katy, and we are so honored to have the opportunity to contribute to the future success of women who want to join our game. Major League Baseball, who has been central to this auction effort from the beginning and will help facilitate the funding for the scholarship, has also honored Katy in another significant way here in Orlando.

Yesterday dozens of women executives from throughout the game participated in the inaugural Katy Feeney Leadership Symposium. To tell you more about the initiative and yesterday's program, I'd like to welcome Major League Baseball's vice president of talent and head of diversity and inclusion, Renee Tirado.

RENEE TIRADO: Thank you, Staci.

Good morning, everyone. It's an honor to be part of this press conference on behalf of Major League Baseball to celebrate and Memorialize the indelible legacy of Katharine "Katy" Feeney. Thank you to all the clubs, the PR staff, the players, the managers, and the Legends who have contributed to this year's auction. The slate of items that are available are amazing, representing a wide range of memorabilia and real experiences, showcasing some of the best memories that baseball has to offer.

This auction has become a part of who we are and remains a highlight for us during the Winter Meetings. As mentioned, in five short years, we've raised almost $1 million through the previous auctions, and we'll continue to make this grow.

While the initial motivation behind this initiative was to help fight cancer in the names of members of our baseball family affected by the disease, the true heart of this effort has been to celebrate and recognize what each of these individuals have meant to the game itself, how they've impacted our employees, and most importantly, how they have touched our communities.

It is in the name of their spirit, their kindness, their professionalism, and their legacy that has driven and continues to motivate their peers and contemporaries to fight this cause in such a meaningful way. That same mindset has applied this year for the Katy Feeney Memorial Scholarship Fund. No one will ever contest that in every sense of the word Katy was a pioneer and a leader in baseball. She serves as an inspiration for all, but especially women in the game today who had the pleasure of knowing her -- the Staci Slaughters and the Kim Inges. And her career and memory will continue to impact and be aspirational for all those young women who are following in her footsteps who entering the game now and in the future.

We are committed as a league to ensure her legacy in baseball lives on through the scholarship fund, which will provide scholarships for young women in years to come who are interested in breaking into sports, and as mentioned, the annual Katharine Feeney Leadership Symposium.

So yesterday we did host nearly 40 senior leaders, all women, representing our clubs, the office of the commissioner, advanced media, and the network. In partnership with Stanford University's graduate school of business and executive education, they received a full day of professional leadership, and they left with substantive leadership tools that they can bring back not only to their respective organizations to lead the efforts to help our sport grow and to be the future of baseball, but more importantly, to bring those tools to our communities to serve as role models and mentors and pay it forward to the next generation of female leaders in baseball.

The response was overwhelmingly positive. Thank you to the Feeney family for participating and cooperating with us and being such a big part of developing this program in her name. We could think of no better way to honor Katy than this symposium and all that she represented.

This will continue to go on for many years to come. Every year we will change the format of the symposium to include more women at different levels of the game, different people, different communities within baseball to make sure that Katy's impact is touching everybody in baseball.

So I want to thank everyone for this opportunity to speak on behalf of Major League Baseball. So I ask that you now go please bid on the auction in Katy's name. And thank you very much.

(Applause)

STACI SLAUGHTER: Thank you, Renee.

Now I would like to bring up Giants manager Bruce Bochy.

BRUCE BOCHY: Good morning. Good morning, everybody. How are we doing here today? There you go.

I was fortunate to have spent quite a few years with Katy, being named manager back in 1995. So I was honored to be able to get to know this wonderful lady and spend a lot of time with her.

Let me start with there was always a great thing to see Katy because that usually meant something really good was happening. You were in the postseason or maybe even going to the All-Star Game. I can remember a few All-Star Games I was lucky enough to attend. Being on the west coast, we'd have to fly to the east coast, and sometimes we'd get there 4:00, 5:00, 6:00 in the morning. There Katy would be in her hat smiling, glad to see all the boys got in. She kept her boys because we would come in as a group and pile on, but she got us organized and put us in the right place. I thank her for all she did for me during those postseason times and in the All-Star Game.

Katy, she was friends to all of you. She was friends to every team. But we would see her in San Francisco occasionally. I'd walk up to the dugout, and she'd be there with her hat on, where she loved to be, smiling. So I'd like to think that she did have an affinity for the San Francisco Giants with the time she spent there in the Bay Area, and of course, going to Cal Berkeley. I don't have proof of that, but I certainly think she did love her Giants.

She was just such a wonderful person. Her passion for the game and for her work was evident, how much she just loved what she did. I know for me, she helped me so many times when we're trying to get players to the podium during the postseason games to help you guys out.

We're going to miss her. We're going to continue to miss her, and it couldn't be more evident when you're having events like these Winter Meetings. Katy, we love you, and God bless Katy. Thank you.

(Applause)

STACI SLAUGHTER: Thanks, Boch.

I'd like to introduce John Feeney, who is Katy's brother. He today is joined by his brother Stoney and Stoney's wife Ann and daughters Emma and Allison.

I just want to say that the entire Feeney family has been incredibly strong during this very difficult time, but they really have taken a major role in trying to remember her legacy and do the right thing and really honor her in a meaningful way. So they have been with us hand in hand as we've been working on developing the scholarship program.

It was really their idea to create a scholarship in her memory, and it's been just an honor and a privilege to be able to work with them and to be able to create something that I think will be really special for baseball and for the Feeney family.

JOHN FEENEY: I'm John Feeney. I'm Katy's middle brother. And as I was standing outside earlier this morning, wondering where to go and what to say, I realized for the umpteenth time in the last eight months that I needed Katy to tell me what to do.

Probably the best tribute I could give to her today would be, because she didn't like being up in front here, would be over to the side with a hat on taking questions or pointing to people to take questions.

Katy was always a very special daughter, special sister. She was a very, very special aunt to my sons and to my brother's daughters. She was an aunt in a way that, for three sons that got to go to All-Star Games at the age of 13 and be treated -- you couldn't have a better aunt.

Then she became a great aunt to my grandkids, and at the memorial in New York, my son described her as Mary Poppins. She would fly in on an umbrella, sprinkle on a little magic, and then fly back out.

The last eight months and this weekend and these meetings have let us know that everybody considered her to be that type of special person. The outpouring by the baseball community and people in general has been overwhelming for us. It's been very, very, very comforting to us that other people than ourselves, many, many other people than ourselves bear the loss.

With that said, I need to thank Major League Baseball, the clubs, the PR directors, the traveling directors, the managers, just a long litany of folks that have done many, many things to help us sustain Katy's legacy. The symposium is, I believe, a wonderful, wonderful tribute to her; and going forward, we're putting together this scholarship fund because of the generosity of the PR directors in baseball.

We thank you very, very much for all you have done for our family and for the remembrance of Katy, who in our hearts will always be the special person that she was. Thank you very much.

(Applause)

STACI SLAUGHTER: Thank you, John.

At this time, we would like to take a group photo of all the PR directors and people who had the honor to work with Katy, along with the Feeney family. You guys can come on up to the stage podium, and we'll take a quick photo. Thank you so much for being here today.

Don't forget, it's MLB.com/wintermeetingsauction. Thank you.