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October 24, 2007
For Jimmy Fund Chairman Mike Andrews, World Series brings back memories

Mike Andrews in Red Sox uniform

Starting with his rookie year as second baseman for the Sox, Mike Andrews has been involved in the Jimmy Fund for decades.

Watching the Red Sox reach this year's World Series has had special meaning for me. Forty years ago, I was a member of the "Impossible Dream" Red Sox team which surprised the experts and New England fans by rising from a ninth place finish the year before to win the 1967 American League pennant. Like Dustin Pedroia of this year's club, I was a rookie second baseman lucky enough to play almost every day that summer. It was a thrilling experience I'll never forget.

That summer of '67 was also the first time I was introduced to the organization – Dana-Farber – that would provide me with a "second career" even more enriching than the first. The Jimmy Fund had been the official charity of the Red Sox since 1953, and Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey was a Dana-Farber trustee. Throughout the season, pediatric cancer patients visited with players at the ballpark, and one day when a teammate couldn't make it, I was asked to meet a young boy. I was busy getting ready for a game, but took a few minutes to talk to him about his Little League team and how much he wanted to get back to playing himself. Later I found out that he didn't make it, and that's when I realized there are a lot more important things in life than having a bad day at the plate. Other players realized it too, and when our team was dividing up its World Series bonus money, we gave a full share to the Jimmy Fund in honor of Mr. Yawkey.

Mike Andrews at microphone

Jimmy Fund Chairman Mike Andrews speaks during the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon.

From that point on I always made time for Dana-Farber, and shortly after my playing career was over, I joined Ken Coleman at the Jimmy Fund in 1979 and eventually succeeded him as chairman. The progress we've made in researching and treating pediatric and adult cancers in the nearly 30 years since I came on board has been incredible, and the Red Sox have been a huge help. The team has helped raise millions of dollars through their sponsorship of the Pan-Massachusetts Challenge bike-a-thon, and supports the Jimmy Fund Fantasy Day at Fenway Park, Rally Against CancerSM, New Stars for Young Stars, and the WEEI-NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon. Players, coaches, and even Wally still visit Dana-Farber whenever they can, and a big highlight for patients and staff was when they came by with the 2004 World Series trophy.

So now, as the current Sox squad goes up against the red-hot Colorado Rockies, I know I share the hopes and best wishes of all my Dana-Farber colleagues, our patients, and families that we have a repeat performance this year – and another trophy visit to look forward to down the road.

Go Red Sox!

Mike Andrews