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Winter Meetings: Stand Up to Cancer News Conference

JOSH RAWITCH: Thank you for being here. To kick after today's news conference, we ask that everybody take a moment of silence in memory of Michael Weiner from the Players' Association.

(Moment of silence.)

JOSH RAWITCH: Thank you very much. My name is Joshua Rawitch, I'm with the Arizona Diamondbacks. On behalf of all the media relations representatives and all the general managers who have joined us today, we greatly appreciate your time and coverage of this event.

This is obviously a very important initiative to Major League Baseball, but also very important to those of us affected by the disease.

I'm going to turn it over to not just a former Major League All Star, but also someone who has his own personal battle with testicular cancer that he has beaten, from ESPN, John Kruk.

JOHN KRUK: Thank you all for being here today. Thanks for having me here.

In Spring Training of 1994 I knew something was wrong and subsequently with visiting doctors we determined that I had testicular cancer. With a great team of doctors in Philadelphia, I beat this thing. And I'm one of the lucky ones because there are a lot that don't. So I'm blessed to be here today.

It's no secret that this disease affects too many of us, but seeing people come together like this provides hope. The people behind me have collected the most amazing items to Stand Up to Cancer. Let's encourage fans to get on line and bid.

Thank you to Major League Baseball for organizing this and thank you to Stand Up To Cancer for continuing the fight against this dreaded disease. Thank you.

JOSH RAWITCH: Now I'd like to introduce from Major League Baseball's Community Affairs Department, David James to give the League's perspective.

DAVID JAMES: On behalf of Commissioner Selig and Major League Baseball, I am honored to represent the efforts today. Thank you to all 30 Major League baseball clubs, the general managers you see with us, the Commissioner's office, MLB Network, MLB Advanced Media for this unique effort to benefit Stand Up To Cancer.

Major League Baseball is proud to be the founding partner which was established in 2008. It is a cause close to Commissioner Selig, the League office and as you can see here today, many people across the League. To date, Major League Baseball and its clubs have donated more than $35 million to Stand Up to Cancer, a number we expect to continue to grow with new initiatives like the one we started here last year and are continuing this afternoon.

The money that Stand Up To Cancer raises helps fund groundbreaking research that delivers new therapy to cancer patients. And most recently Stand Up To Cancer launched a new smartphone app developed by MLB Advanced Media that provides users everywhere a new easy way to honor loved ones affected by cancer through multiple social media platforms.

As you saw on the video, during live television coverage of Game 4 of the 2013 World Series, Stand Up to Cancer debuted a new PSA in injunction with an in stadium moment where we asked fans, players, coaches, media, and umpires to stand up for a loved one who has been affected by cancer. The support and impact of those events has been overwhelming. We are proud to report those moments generated the most visits and donations to Stand Up To Cancer other than multi network telethons.

In support of this initiative, everyone on stage will hold up a placard with the name of a loved one that's been affected by cancer.

If everyone could hold up their placards, please.

Please help us encourage everyone to visit to bid on the incredible items offered in this auction.

Thank you all for your continued support.

JOSH RAWITCH: I think everybody can see here by the support that we've got not just from the Media Relations officials, but the general managers have taken time out of their very busy schedules, many of whom don't like to leave the suite very often during this weekend, to come down here and support this initiative and we can't be more grateful for.

We hope over the next couple of days you'll get a chance to talk to them and ask them about their personal dealings with cancer. I think everybody in this room, anybody out there who is watching this, we've all been affected by this disease, and we have an opportunity to have an effect here.

We started with our inspiration with Monica, with Shannon, with Melody with the various teams, but we feel like this has a chance to grow year after year. Last year in our first year, very little effort put in, $150,000 right off the bat, and I think with all the exposure we're going to get this year it has a chance to start raising millions of dollars on an annual basis. And that's very special.

The auction items that we have, these are experiences that you really can't find anyplace else. Bryce Harper, willing to go to your kid's school and show up for the day. Michael Cuddyer is going to do a magic show for somebody's school. You can bring the World Series trophy from the Boston Red Sox to your home or to your office. You can actually be an intern at the All Star Game this year last during the Home Run Derby with the Twins. Last year the Yankee internship went for about $7,000. You can play golf with Fernando Valenzuela, have lunch with Ryan Sanders, you can take batting practice on several of the fields around Major League Baseball. Unique experiences with AL MVP, NL MVP, both of the runners up in each League. Your Little League team can have a catching clinic with Pudge Rodriguez.

Those are just some of the amazing things. The question comes down to, what are we asking you guys to do? If you can Tweet out the link, if you can Facebook the link, it's, and you'll see all of the amazing things we have out there. If you can get it out there as often as you can. Please ask the people up here about their own personal stories, because it makes for amazing stories that you can share with your readers, your viewers.

Again, we thank all the general managers for being here. From all of us, thank you for your coverage, and hopefully soon we'll be ending this terrible disease.

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