Now Commenting On:

{"content":["winter_meetings" ] }

Red Sox doing their part to strike out cancer

Red Sox doing their part to strike out cancer

Red Sox doing their part to strike out cancer
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- It was six years ago that Red Sox lefty Jon Lester got the chilling news that he had a type of cancer called anaplastic large cell lymphoma. As it turns out, Lester turned out to be one of the fortunate ones.

Lester, who was 22 at the time, swiftly went to work on treating his cancer and underwent six rounds of chemotherapy treatment. To this point, there have been no recurrences, and Lester went on to win a World Series, pitch a no-hitter and make it to a couple of All-Star Games.

But there is not a cure for everybody, and that's why Lester and the Red Sox continue to work actively in the fight against cancer.

For more than a half-century, the Red Sox have held a partnership with the cancer-fighting Jimmy Fund, and each year, players from the team are active in a telethon and other events which help raise millions to help find cures for cancer.

The Red Sox joined a unique and league-wide baseball initiative on Monday at the Winter Meetings.

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 11:59 p.m. ET 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.

The Red Sox have put some intriguing items up for auction.

The first is a chance to sit behind the Green Monster for three innings, while also getting the opportunity to watch batting practice at Fenway Park and meet a Red Sox player. That package includes four infield grandstand tickets.

The second item is lunch for four with manager John Farrell in the team's clubhouse. Imagine sitting there in Boston's clubhouse and getting to pick Farrell's brain on the inner workings of the club.

And the third item is the copy of the must-have Fenway 100 book, signed by Hall of Famer Jim Rice.

Perhaps no Red Sox player has better perspective than Lester. Sure, he had the worst season of his life in 2012, but he knows that a bad baseball season pales in comparison to the fight against cancer.

"It feels like a lifetime ago [that I was diagnosed]," said Lester. "And I try not to think about it. But I did use it to get through some of my personal struggles and how I pitched this season. I wasn't going to let myself start thinking, 'Woe is me.' It certainly helped keep things in perspective."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"content":["winter_meetings" ] }
{"content":["winter_meetings" ] }
Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español