NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Jake Peavy has been standing up to cancer for quite some time, and he did so this past year to honor important personal bonds.
In conjunction with the Jake Peavy Foundation, Peavy put together "A Day with Jake Peavy" charity raffle, with proceeds from this unique fundraiser benefiting Peavy's foundation and pancreatic cancer research. This idea was originated in honor of Darrel Akerfelds, the San Diego Padres' bullpen coach who valiantly battled the illness before passing away on June 24. Akerfelds was first diagnosed with the illness in December of 2010.
The connection between Akerfelds and Peavy was more like father and son than player and coach, so Peavy simply wanted to show that he was fighting right there with his friend as much as humanly possible.
"I just wanted to honor my friend and wanted to raise awareness with different causes that I wanted to do all through my tenure in baseball," said Peavy at the time of the charity raffle. "[I want to] make the world a better place.
"This is a very small part of it. But we are called as athletes to use our platform to try to make a difference in people's lives for whatever is near and dear to your heart."
These Winter Meetings include an MLB.com Auction to benefit Stand Up To Cancer, which 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 and announced it Monday in Nashville with MLB staff.
Bidding closes at 10:59 p.m. CT on Thursday, with more than 70 baseball-related experiences ranging from clubhouse tours by players to lunches with general managers to team bus rides to meet-and-greets with 14 Hall of Fame players.
Peavy's charity raffle, which also was done in honor of the cancer battle forged by his maternal grandmother, Dama Lolley, involved tickets for all three games between the White Sox and Cubs at U.S. Cellular Field from June 18-20, with one game from a luxury suite. The winners got to join Peavy to watch batting practice and had a private lunch with Peavy at one of his favorite Chicago restaurants.
As part of the current MLB.com auction, the White Sox presented options that would interest their fans and baseball fans in general. There's a Sluggers Package, including a Paul Konerko autographed jersey, Carlton Fisk autographed helmet, Frank Thomas autographed bat, Adam Dunn autographed baseball and an Alex Rios autographed cap.
Their Spring Training experience includes a private behind-the-scenes tour of Camelback Ranch, a meet and greet with White Sox players, the opportunity to throw out a ceremonial first pitch at a Cactus League game, and two sets of four tickets to Spring Training games. Travel and accommodations are not included.
Finally, the White Sox VIP For A Day features the opportunity to view batting practice from the field, a meet and greet with White Sox players, a tour of U.S. Cellular, an in-seat visit from Southpaw, the team's mascot, the opportunity to have your name on the scoreboard and four platinum lower box seats.
One of the players who figures to be part of these meet and greets is Peavy, who donated $100 to pancreatic cancer research for every strikeout recorded in baseball on games played June 30. Peavy fanned 11 in a shutout loss to the Yankees, and donated $24,100 in total. He will continue to stand up against this insidious disease.