NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Cancer has become a big part, far too big a part, of Derrick Hall's life the last few years. During that time, the D-backs team president/CEO lost his father after a long battle with pancreatic cancer and was himself diagnosed with prostate cancer. "There's so much cancer in this day and age, and it seems to really have affected the game of baseball," Hall said.
That's a big reason why Major League Baseball's public-relations directors and their staffs have teamed up to organize a charity auction benefiting Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C) during the Winter Meetings. "With so many of our friends and colleagues recently affected by cancer, we felt it was time for us to stand up, and the Winter Meetings present the only opportunity each year when all 30 managers, general managers and all of the media come together," said D-backs senior vice president of communications Josh Rawitch, who spearheaded the group's efforts. "With the unique access we are all fortunate to have to some of the game's greatest treasures, it's really our responsibility to do our part and we hope this is only the beginning." The bidding closes at 9:59 p.m. MT on Thursday for 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 Famers. D-backs fans can bid on items like a round of golf with ace pitcher Ian Kennedy, a half-hour hitting session with hitting coach Don Baylor, a half-hour pitching lesson with pitching coach Charles Nagy, a meet and greet with manager Kirk Gibson and a lunch for two with GM Kevin Towers and longtime baseball executive Roland Hemond that also includes a VIP tour of the press box and a meet and greet with broadcasters Bob Brenly, Steve Berthiaume, Greg Schulte and Tom Candiotti. "Our fans are going to love to have an opportunity to bid on these things," Hall said. "There are some really great things. If you're a golfer and a D-backs fan and you get to golf with Ian Kennedy? What could be better?" Hall recently received some good news. Since his surgery in November 2011, he has been tested once per month and a recent exam showed his cancer as undetectable, which means he now can go four months between screenings. "That's a really good sign," Hall said. Motivated by his own battle, Hall will announce next month that he is starting the Derrick Hall Pro-State Foundation to raise money for cancer research. "When I was diagnosed, a number of prostate-cancer survivors in the game -- former managers, executives -- they called me right away and said, 'I'm here for you, I've been through it and I'm here to support you,'" Hall said. "It was really overwhelming."