Buehrle’s jersey is auction gem

The Chicago White Sox may be in the midst of their opening matches for the 2011 Major League Baseball season. But they are making a presence in Cayman through the annual little league auction.

At the Cayman Islands Little League auction this Saturday 9 April, one of the prized items on offer is an autographed Mark Buehrle jersey.

Buehrle is the ace of the White Sox pitching staff and won his Opening Day start against the Cleveland Indians last week.

Other White Sox paraphernalia are expected to be on offer at the auction, which is being held at the Arts and Recreation Centre.

For the record the White Sox and the local little league have a connection that dates back several years.

The biggest showing of that partnership is the annual White Sox camp hosted every year at the Field of Dreams facility in George Town.

Little league’s fundraising coordinator Sara MacKay spoke about the need to have the auction now.

“Sports memorabilia is not all that’s on offer at the auction,” MacKay said. “We have Nelson Mandela’s book ‘Long Walk to Freedom’ as one of the very special items on offer.

There’s a signed guitar by country stars like Alan Jackson, Cayman Airways travel packages, a new Subaru Sport Utility Vehicle from Eurocar and so on.

“The auction is needed because fundraising is as important as ever. Even with the help of the many volunteers who make it all work, we absolutely depend on the generosity of the community to keep the Field of Dreams alive. We are close to retiring the debt, but proper care and upkeep of the fields, lighting and the turf going forward are important too.”

The theme of this year’s auction is Diamonds and Dust.

The dress code is flexible and attendees can be anywhere from formal to casual with sports jerseys welcome.

Rob Harris, a long-time little league volunteer, will emcee the evening with Sean Kelly serving as the auctioneer.

Proceeds from the auction will benefit local little league which has just under 500 kids playing for free.

Tickets are $100 per person or $1,000 per table of 10 and some are still available. Tickets include a meal, welcome cocktail and wine.

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