Teahen holds first fund-raiser
Raises money for facility to allow disabled kids to play baseball
KANSAS CITY -- When it comes to helping kids, Royals players are willing fashion models and eager auction bidders.
Several of them proved that on Thursday night when outfielder Mark Teahen held his first fund-raiser to benefit the YMCA's Challenger Division baseball program.
The benefit raised thousands of dollars for a facility that will enable mentally and physically disabled kids to play baseball using wheelchairs or other assistive devices.
"Mark Teahen ... Challenge Your Fashion" was part of a winter whirlwind that also included Royals Caravan trips and the first Royals FanFest on Friday and Saturday.
"I was very happy with the way things went," Teahen said after nearly 200 people attended his fashion show and auction at the Overland Park Convention Center.
Hot items at the live auction included personal batting lessons for four by Billy Butler (two bidders paid $2,000 each) and pitching lessons for four by Gil Meche (three bidders paid $1,000 each).
Later, Meche and Butler had a bidding war of their own over a strand of pearls and earrings. It got so heated that Butler's bride, Katie was fanning him with a program as Meche hurled the winning bid of $5,000.
David DeJesus and Alex Gordon battled over a stay in a posh Acapulco beach-front condo. When the price got to $4,500, the donor doubled the gift and each player got a four-night visit at that figure. They'll get the sun, the kids will get a baseball field.
Teahen followed up by doubling his own gift, a personal lunch time visit to a child at school ("I will buy the cafeteria food ... and eat some of it") or at someone's office for some schmoozing. Going, going, gone -- for $2,500 each.
The players warmed up the crowd by treading the boards with the latest fashions. Esteban German wore Gucci, DeJesus wore Armani, Mark Grudzielanek wore Polo, Ryan Shealy wore Tommy Bahama and Joey Gathright wore...some kind of very trendy glittering t-shirt.
"Joey wears this outfit every day to the field," Teahen said.
Kids who'll benefit from the baseball park joined the players on stage and won hearts.
"This is what it's all about," Teahen said.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.