What started as a joke between friends quickly turned into an opportunity for the Quad Cities River Bandits and the Omaha Royals to raise money for the ALS Association, an official charity partner of Minor League Baseball.
When the dust settled, the eBay auction that featured the autographed Martie Cordaro baseball raised $105. Then each organization matched that sum - bringing the total raised to fight ALS to $315. To top it off, Omaha Royals President Alan Stein and River Bandits Owner Dave Heller each personally matched the donation - bringing the grand total raised to $525 - all to be donated to the ALS Association.
In the process of collecting autographed baseballs for the River Bandits' Autographed Baseball Giveaway Night on May 20 at Modern Woodmen Park, Vice President and General Manager Kirk Goodman sent a request to his friend at the Triple-A Omaha Royals, Vice President and General Manager Martie Cordaro. Goodman asked Cordaro to send him some baseballs signed by Royals Triple-A prospects and future big leaguers. Cordaro complied, but he also included a personally autographed baseball with his name on it.
Continuing the joke, Goodman responded by putting the ball on ebay under the title, "Martie Cordero Autographed Baseball!!!" and touting the exploits of Cordaro, both personally and professionally. After noticing that the auction item was generating an unexpected amount of attention, the two GM's decided that both teams would match the winning bid and donate all of the money to the ALS Association. Not long after, Royals President/CEO Alan Stein and River Bandits Owner Dave Heller also agreed to match the winning bid as a donation to combat Lou Gehrig's disease.
"When this all started I was just having some fun, but I'm glad this really took on a life of its own," said Goodman. "Martie has been a great sport and I'm proud to say we have raised so much money for such a great cause."