NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- The Twins are taking part in Major League Baseball's charity auction benefitting Stand Up To Cancer, as announced at the Winter Meetings on Monday.
The initiative was inspired by the numerous cases of public relations officials in baseball who have been diagnosed with cancer in recent years.
The auction, which begins Monday and will be live on MLB.com until Thursday at 10:59 p.m. CT, features more than 70 unique experiences and items donated by the 30 clubs, including two involving the Twins.
Cancer hit the Twins' organization hard in 2012, as Minor Leaguer Paul Bargas passed away at the age of 23 in late June after battling a rare form of brain cancer.
Bargas, who was acquired by the Twins in a trade with the Rockies before the 2011 season, began experiencing headaches that offseason but still reported to Fort Myers, Fla., for Spring Training that March. But he complained of severe headaches and disorientation upon his arrival and was eventually diagnosed with Primary Central Nervous System Lymphoma.
He battled the disease for more than a year, as he went through chemotherapy at UCLA Medical Center in California before ultimately succumbing to the disease in June.
"The thing he talked about the most was, 'I can't believe you guys traded for me and I never played a game for you guys, but you treat me like family,'" Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony said. "And I said, 'You are the minute we draft you or trade for you.' He was an unbelievable person. I'm serious. There was never a, 'Why me?' in him."
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 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.
The first Twins-related item is a meet-and-great with Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven, which includes a signed photo from his induction in Cooperstown, N.Y. It also includes four tickets to a game at Target Field, four pregame field passes and a tour of the press box.
The other Twins item is for two VIP access passes for TwinsFest at the Metrodome in January. The package includes free admission to the three-day event held from Jan. 25-27 and a VIP lanyard and guide allowing front-of-the-line access to autograph lines and a backstage meet-and-greet with current players. It also includes two Twins gift baskets.
"The PR executives of the 30 clubs have assembled a truly unprecedented collection of auction items," said Jacqueline Parkes, Major League Baseball's chief marketing officer. "This auction gives fans the chance to have an unforgettable baseball experience while contributing to the critically important work of Stand Up To Cancer."
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.