Some big league players and teams have stepped up with donations of autographed equipment and more to help an auction aimed at rasing funds for a former college player injured in a deadly crash.
A's catcher Kurt Suzuki and his wife Renee are raising funds through an on-line auction through oaklandathletics.com for the Jon Wilhite Recovery Fund. Wilhite was the lone survivor of the April 9 car crash that killed Angels' pitcher Nick Adenhart, Henry Pearson and Courtney Stewart. Kurt and Wilhite were teammates and both catchers in 2004 at Cal State University at Fullerton.
The online auction will be hosted through the A's website during the entire month of June and will feature new, game-used and autographed memorabilia from almost every team in Major League Baseball. With the help of Orlando and Katie Cabrera, the Suzukis were able to collect over 50 autographed baseballs, 30 bats, 20 jerseys and cleats in addition to batting gloves, bobbleheads, helmets, photos, hats and catchers gear.
- Jason Giambi autographed jersey
- Ryan Howard autographed jersey
- Jonathan Papelbon autographed jersey
- Alex Rodriguez autographed jersey
- Albert Pujols autographed bat
- Vladimir Guerrero autographed bat
- Matt Holliday autographed bat
- Dan Haren autographed baseball
Other memorabilia will be grouped into themed baskets. Baskets include Oakland Outfielders/Infielders/ Catchers/Pitchers, MLB Pitchers/Outfielders/Infielders, Latinos, Former A's, Veterans, All-Stars, Gold Glove/Silver Slugger, in addition to Angels and Rangers baskets.
The Suzukis are also hosting a number of other fundraisers to help out their good friend Wilhite, who was recently moved to an outpatient rehabilitation center. On Saturday, July 18 and Sunday, July 19 A's player's wives will sell mystery A's autographed baseballs during the A's vs. Angels games, whereby fans can purchase a randomly selected bagged baseball for $40.
On August 1, all of the proceeds from the A's silent auction, which will take place behind section 120 during the game, will benefit the Wilhite Fund, with the A's Community Fund matching money raised through the silent auction.