"Certainly, the Jimmy Fund would not be where it is today if it were not for the Red Sox. Almost everything we do is associated in some way with the Red Sox."
— Mike Andrews
Since 1953, one thing has remained constant for the Boston Red Sox baseball team — its role as champion for the Jimmy Fund.
The roots of this allegiance extend back to the founding of the Jimmy Fund in 1948, when members of another Boston baseball franchise, the Braves, participated in the national radio broadcast that launched the charity.
For the next few years, Braves owner Lou Perini kept the team involved through player appearances and radio appeals during games. The dollars they raised helped pay for the 1952 completion of the state-of-the-art Jimmy Fund Building for research and patient care.
The first Boston baseball team to take on the Jimmy Fund cause, the Braves pose in the dugout.
But by 1953, Perini had decided to move the team to Milwaukee due to declining game attendance. Before leaving, Perini made sure the Jimmy Fund was in good hands — he asked Red Sox owner Thomas Yawkey to continue the Braves' work with the charity.
On April 10, 1953, Yawkey announced that his team would adopt the Jimmy Fund as its official charity and continue the tradition started by the Braves. The two ball clubs celebrated the occasion by playing a benefit exhibition game for the Jimmy Fund the next day.
Although Sox legend Ted Williams had already been deeply involved with the charity for several years, this event marked the official beginning of perhaps the most unique, long-standing, and visible relationship with a charity in the history of professional sports team.