LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Imagine bringing a group of friends down to the field at PNC Park, meeting Manager of the Year Clint Hurdle, watching batting practice, and then taking the party upstairs to a suite.
Now imagine doing all that for a good cause.
That ballpark experience is one of three that the Pirates have put up for bid this week as all 30 Major League clubs show their support for Stand Up To Cancer, the groundbreaking initiative created to support innovative cancer research.
Baseball's 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 by individual club members impacted by the disease, and they jointly organized the auction, which began Monday.
The three Pirates experiences available for bid are:
Clint Hurdle Meet, Greet and Suite: This package includes the opportunity for 15 people to be on the field at PNC Park and meet Hurdle during batting practice before watching then game from a suite.
Spring Training Experience: Four people will be granted a tour of the team's facility and special "behind the ropes" access to watch the final workout at Pirate City on Feb. 24, 2014. The group will have a chance to participate in the Pirates Charities Golf outing, which will be held at the IMG Academies Golf and Country Club.
Ultimate Autograph Package: The winner will receive four special items, autographed and authenticated:
• a cap from Hurdle.
• a baseball from 2013 Comeback Player of the Year Francisco Liriano.
• a bat from 2013 home run co-champion and Silver Slugger Pedro Alvarez.
• a jersey from 2013 National League MVP Andrew McCutchen.
Bidding closes at 10 p.m. ET Thursday.
In all, there are 80 baseball-related experiences ranging from private pitching and batting lessons with players to lunches with general managers to team bus rides and meet-and-greets with Hall of Fame players.
Among the other clubs' offerings:
• From the Red Sox, a fan can take the 2013 World Series trophy (and '04 and '07 trophies if available) to his or her home or office for the day.
• Reigning National League batting champion Michael Cuddyer of the Rockies will perform a magic show at a school in the Denver metro area.
• The Nationals' Bryce Harper and Anthony Rendon will visit a school for a pizza lunch and a kids-only Q&A.
John Schlegel is a national reporter for MLB.com. You can follow him on Twitter at @JohnSchlegelMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less