Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Bats, Balls & Big Easy@23rd Annual Celeb Sports Auction

The Derek Jeter 3,000th Hit Commemorative Louisville Slugger Black Bat is among the scores of items open for bids at the 23rd Annual Celebrity Sports Auction. Photo courtesy of Amazon.

FOR the right price, someone can walk away with two tickets to the 2013 U.S. Open (tennis). Same deal on a Napa Valley California wine tour and a Charlotte Ronson wool military jacket in olive green.

It all comes down to the winning bids placed during the 23rd Annual Celebrity Sports Auction. The live and silent auction is planned for Monday (5 Nov.) at New York City’s Madison Square Garden, provided all is well after Hurricane Sandy.

New York Jets player Muhammad Wilkerson. Photo from New York Jets.

Of course, no actual celebrities – sports or otherwise – will be up for auction But expect a framed and autographed photo of Muhammad Ali nee Casius Clay at his first Golden Gloves Tournament and Derek Jeter’s 3,000th Hit Commemorative Louisville Slugger Black Bat. Also in the mix are four tickets the 29 Dec. game at the Barclay Center between the Brooklyn Nets and the Cleveland Cavaliers with ball kid opps.

Grapevines at Long Island's Mattebella Vineyards. Photo from Mattebella Vineyards Web site.

New York Jets fans have an opportunity to bid on the Jets Suite package. It includes 24 tickets and VIP parking permits for the 2 Dec. game against the Arizona Cardinals. Like the Napa Valley wine tour (minimum bid $5,000), the suite is a live auction item and has a required minimum bid, $2,500.

Carli Lloyd of the U.S Women's National Soccer Team. Photo by M. Stahlschmidt/Sideline Sports Photography.

Proceeds from the auction benefit the Starlight Children’s Foundation NY*NJ*CT, which provides crucial services to sick children and their families. A goodly number of Starlight children and their families will be in the house to meet, greet, and cheer on bidders. The night is also an occasion to honor various sports celebrities. Being recognized this year are gold medal soccer players, Carli Lloyd and Heather O’Reilly, the New York Jets’ Muhammad Wilkerson, Kenny Cooper of the New York Red Bulls, New York Knicks player Larry Johnson and New York Rangers legend Nick Fotiu.

Tracy Letts, Carrie Coon, Amy Morton and Madison Dirks in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf.” Photo by Michael Brosilow.

As evidenced by the Napa Wine tour and the CR jacket, not all auction items are of the sports variety. In the arts and photography category is an autographed and framed photo of Elton John. One of the trips being offered is to New Orleans for jazz and dining. It comes with a three-night stay at the Pere Marquette Hotel and a six-course dinner at Commander’s Palace Restaurant.

New York Rangers player Nick Fotiu (ret.) Photo from New York Rangers.

Theater fans can bid on tickets to “Who’s Afraid of Virgina Woolf” that includes dinner to the Bryant Park Grill. Speaking of that restaurant ensconced in the beautiful park just east of Times Square, it is one of several dining experiences (for 10 people ) in the gourmet category. For the wine-lover who does not successfully bid on the Napa Valley tour, there is an opportunity to place a winning bid for a private tasting at Long Island’s Mattebella Vineyards.

Going once, going twice. Sold!

Visit http://www.starlight-newyork.org/ and/or call 212-354-2878 to learn more about and purchase tickets to the 23rd Annual Celebrity Sports Auction. Also use the Web site address to learn more about the Starlight Children’s Foundation NY*NJ*CT.

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