LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Bernie Brewer may take the most trips down the famous slide at Miller Park, but the privilege is not exclusive to him.
The Brewers are extending a one-time invitation to all fans to try their hand at sliding down the outfield structure, a staple at Brewers games since Miller Park opened in 2001. It's all in the name of charity, as all 30 teams have offered up several eye-popping prizes in this year's MLB.com Stand Up To Cancer Auction, taking place this week during the Winter Meetings.
The Brewers have offered three items, the most popular being the combination of slipping down Bernie Brewer's famous home run slide and throwing out a ceremonial first pitch. The winning bidder and three friends will also receive tickets to the game. As of mid-afternoon Wednesday, that package had drawn $1,020 and 12 bids.
The Brewers are also offering the Klement's Famous Racing Sausages to attend a summer barbeque at your house on a mutually agreed-upon date. You must live within a 35-mile radius of Miller Park, and corporate or company events are excluded. The winner will also get four tickets to a game. The highest bid for that is $260.
Finally, a 30-minute private batting lesson with manager Ron Roenicke at Miller Park is currently going for $500.
The MLB.com Auction to benefit Stand Up To Cancer is part of a much larger initiative that 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.
Three MLB PR representatives have been dealing with the cancer for the past several years: Shannon Forde, a long-time member of the Mets media relations staff; the Cardinals' Melody Yount, and the Orioles' Monica Barlow. Because media relations folks have a direct line to and close relationships with the ballplayers, they were able to cook up a doozy of a list of enticing prizes to offer in the auction.
The items up for bid aren't just your garden-variety signed bats and balls, although those are included in several packages. If the items seem a little over the top, they are -- on purpose. The goal is to raise as much money as possible to fight cancer, a disease that has touched the lives of just about everyone in the world in some fashion, and club employees have purposely put together a list of remarkable items that hopefully will be irresistible to the charity-minded fan base.
Bidding closes at 10 p.m. ET on Thursday, with 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.
Last year, the auction raised more than $150,000. Major League Baseball and its 30 clubs are the founding partners of Stand Up To Cancer and a lead donor since 2008, committing more than $40 million through 2014. As the initiative's founding donor, MLB has collaborated with Stand Up To Cancer on significant awareness-building efforts, including public service announcements, in-stadium promotion and fundraising events, and a World Series game has been dedicated to the initiative for each of the past three years.