Retired Red Sox Stars Find Ways To Give Back

I recently started work on an article about Carl Yastrzemski and his days with the Red Sox. As part of my research I’ve interviewed some of Yaz’s teammates including Bill Lee, Fred Lynn, and Jim Lonborg, among others. In exchange for their time, I offered to make a donation to a charity of their choice. While many asked for donations to The Jimmy Fund, I thought Lynn and Lonborg’s requests were unique. These charities have a personal meaning to these retired Red Sox players.

Last February 1967 Cy Young winner Jim Lonborg invited me to his home to talk about Yaz. Afterwards, heretired Red Sox told me about a charity his wife, Rosemary, co-founded and directs called Learn, Live, Love. This charity focuses on providing different kinds of assistance to female cancer patients and their families in Massachusetts. In addition to her efforts with the charity, she works at Fragile Footprints Pediatric Palliative Care, Plymouth, MA. Jim also works for the charity as the treasurer. You can learn more about Learn, Live, Love at learnlivelove.org.

Fred Lynn, the 1975 AL MVP, and I met at the Hotel Commonwealth on Good Friday and spent about an hour discussing Red Sox history. I asked Lynn about a week before our meeting which charity he’d like me to donate to. Lynn texted me the info for a charity called The Face Foundation in San Diego, CA. “We have saved over 1,600 animals in about 5 years,” Lynn added. The website states that “The FACE Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that provides financial assistance for San Diego animal owners who are unable to afford the cost of their pets’ emergency veterinary care.” If you’d like to learn more about The Face Foundation, check out their website at face4pets.org.

Retired Red Sox Players Aren’t The Only Ones Who Give Back

In addition to retired Red Sox players, I also spoke to former Detroit Tigers’ pitcher Denny McLain, the last pitcher to win 30 games in a season. He asked me to donate to the Michigan Parkinson Foundation for his wife, Sharon, who is fighting the disease. Former Red Sox players Jim Gosger and Ted Lepcio both asked me to donate to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital. Rico Petrocello and Bill Lee asked for donations to The Jimmy Fund while Galen Cisco asked for a donation to the St. Mary’s Foundation in Ohio.

These players were tremendously helpful to me as I did my research on Carl Yastrzemski. The very least that could be done in exchange for their time was to make a donation. While some of them told me it wasn’t necessary, they all expressed their sincere thanks. I’m the one, however, who owes them all the thanks.

Red Sox Host 14th Annual Jimmy Fund Telethon

One of the things the Red Sox are known for is their relationship with Dana Farber and the Jimmy Fund—prominent, Boston-based, cancer research organizations. Starting on Tuesday and into Wednesday, they hosted the 14th Annual Jimmy Fund Telethon at Fenway Park. The event raises money towards cancer research and has raised over $37 million since 2002 according to the Jimmy Fund Website.

The event is co-hosted by WEEI and NESN over 36 hours and 2 games, and it features Jimmy Fundstories from cancer patients, survivors and their families, as well as appearances from local media personalities and players, like Roger Clemens (who called in on Wednesday), and David Ortiz, who appeared live in-studio. It also spotlighted some of the things that the Jimmy Fund does to take people’s minds off the treatment, especially for the kids. One of the things that was brought up a couple of times during the broadcast was the trip for the kids down to Fort Myers to watch Spring Training.

One of the highlights for me while I was watching it was a little girl who had beaten cancer singing the song “Let It Go” from the Disney movie “Frozen” while Tom Caron encouraged her. Those are the kind of moments that make this event special and it’s clear the players get it as well. NESN showed videos throughout the broadcast of the players hanging out at the Jimmy Fund with patients.

The Red Sox and the Jimmy Fund have been partners since 1953, making it the longest such partnership in sports. The Jimmy Fund also does other neat fundraisers through the Red Sox, like a “Fenway Fantasy Day,” which allows people to play baseball at Fenway Park, which I was fortunate enough to participate in.

This event is always special, but it takes on a new meaning this year, as John Farrell was revealed to have Stage 1 Lymphoma last Friday, which makes it more important this year. At last count, the Jimmy Fund Telethon hand raised over $1.9 million and it seems on track to raise over $2 million, which would be a record. It runs until midnight on Wednesday on NESN, through the game, and it’s worth it if you go over and donate even $5.

Team 9: The Red Sox Find A Way to Help End the War On Cancer

Photos by Nate Photography

The Red Sox Organization has done it again. First, it was the One Fund. Now, come to find out, it has been the key co presenting sponsor for the Jimmy Fund for 61 years, 35 of which has been in support of the Jimmy Fund’s Annual event, the Pan Mass Challenge. Team 9 they call themselves, in honor of the late Ted Williams’s dedication and support for the Jimmy Fund and cancer research. It is a group of dedicated individuals – families, friends and employees of the Boston Red Sox – who, in one day, in one extravagant event, set out to beat cancer. On August 2 and 3 of this year there will be 14 employees, friends and families who ride 150 miles to raise funds for research and tools to find a cure for cancer. Their expected revenue? $50,000.00.

Sally Lucchino, wife of President Larry Lucchino, has two years been not only a cyclist but the captain of Team 9. Among her are 45 others who travel from afar and train hard to support the nation’s number one athletic fundraising event.

The Pan Mass Challenge (PMC) is the Jimmy Fund’s largest contributor that generates 46% of its annual revenue in just one event that lasts two days. This year, over 4,000 cyclists will ride 150 miles to raise funds to find a cure for cancer.

In 2003, the Red Sox made way to rally the cyclists who train hard year round, and volunteers by way of opening the gates of Fenway Park and hosting a series of events and special nights. One example includes PMC Night at Fenway where cyclists ride around the warming track before the game to honor those who have survived. In 2010, the Red Sox displayed the PMC logo next to the Jimmy Fund’s on the Green Monster. The logo symbolized the organization’s 31st year as sponsor. In all, the Red Sox organization has not only dedicated their time and energy into putting forth their best and contributing to cancer research but they have also raised a total of over $2,000,000.00 to put an end to this death-defying illness.

You too can take action and help support the Jimmy Fund and the Red Sox’ mission to help beat cancer by clicking on the site below.

http://www.pmc.org/about/sponsors/red-sox-foundation