Myrtle Beach Pelicans assistant coach Ty Wright is leading an auction next week, looking to provide assistance to the Van Zandt County Tornado Relief Fund.
Wright, a former player who is in his 10th year in the Chicago Cubs organization, grew up about 40 minutes from Canton, Texas, an area that was hit by several devastating tornadoes in late April.
The area suffered major damage from multiple deadly tornadoes, a sight that Wright says hit very close to home as soon as he received the news.
“I was just thinking about the families in that area and the terror that it probably brought to a lot of people raising their kids in that area,” Wright said. “It’s a really great area. The images of houses being blown away and just the damage done, that’s what really stuck in my mind when I first saw some of the pictures.”
Playing in the Cubs organization for seven years before switching to the coaching side, Wright immediately began planning to provide relief, utilizing his role in pro baseball to lead an auction for fans in Myrtle Beach.
He sent a text to Pelicans general manager Andy Milovich, who signed off on the idea without any hesitation, officially launching Wright’s all-out effort to raise proceeds for the relief fund.
“Whenever you have the opportunity to help out in a situation like that… not being able to get down there, this is the best thing I could do to help out and raise some money to send down there to the people,” Wright said.
In almost no time at all, the Pelicans assistant was able to reach some of the biggest names in the Cubs organization. It took plenty of time to send out text messages and make calls, but Wright has now built a significant list of items that have ties to some of the biggest names in recent Cubs and Pelicans history.
Not only will there be items from the likes of former Pelicans Joey Gallo and Elvis Andrus, but the auction will feature autographed items from even more players across Major League Baseball – including 2016 MLB NL MVP Kris Bryant, Cubs standout Anthony Rizzo and Pittsburgh Pirates SS Jordy Mercer.
The auction, which runs online from May 29 through June 3 and at Pelicans Ballpark from May 31 through June 3, will also feature signed items from Baseball Hall of Fame member Ryne Sandberg and Cubs pitchers Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta.
To say the least, Wright was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support by all involved with their contributions.
“It goes to show what kind of people they are,” he said. “The amount of time that those guys put in for their organizations, whether it’s the Cubs or another organization, just to take 10 minutes out and sign a couple things and get it in the mail, it’s really not as easy as people think. It sounds easy but it’s not when your schedule is full. So, it really goes to show the character of the guys who are sending stuff in.”
Fans will be able to bid on items online at MyrtleBeachPelicans.com/Auctions and at the park during the team’s series against the Down East Wood Ducks from May 31st to June 3rd.
In Wright’s mind, the auctions represents a great opportunity – a chance for fans to take home signed memorabilia while at the same time helping the Canton, Texas, area with much-needed support.
“It’s a cool thing to put together to give people an opportunity to buy something that they would not normally want to buy, but that money is going to go to a good cause,” he said. “It’s a win-win for everybody involved.”