Boston Red Sox and Jimmy Fund leadership celebrate new gallery and auditorium at Dana-Farber
May 29, 2014
For more than 60 years, the Red Sox and the Jimmy Fund have been partners in the fight against cancer. Thursday, leaders from both organizations celebrated the history of this unique relationship at the dedication of the Boston Red Sox Jimmy Fund Gallery and Auditorium at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.
During the ribbon-cutting ceremony at Dana-Farber, Red Sox President and CEO Larry Lucchino, who is a Dana-Farber trustee, Dana-Farber President and CEO Edward J. Benz Jr., MD, pediatric patient Gianna Martiniello, Institute Trustees, and other special guests dedicated the Boston Red Sox Jimmy Fund Gallery and Auditorium. The Gallery is a 3-D display featuring historical artifacts from Red Sox greats past and present and a timeline tracing the Jimmy Fund Red Sox bond – the longest alliance ever between a professional sports team and charity in North America – from its 1953 origins until today.
“The Boston Red Sox Jimmy Fund Gallery and the Auditorium is a tribute to how the Red Sox organization, Red Sox Foundation and Red Sox Nation have embraced the Jimmy Fund and are woven into the fabric of the Dana-Farber family,” said Benz. The Red Sox have embraced our cause by graciously contributing their time, talent and philanthropic gifts.”
Among the highlights of the Gallery are game jerseys autographed by Ted Williams and Carl Yastrzemski, cleats signed by Dustin Pedroia, and Dwight Evans’ 1979 Rawlings Gold Glove award. There are baseball cards featuring former Sox second baseman Mike Andrews – who was chairman of the Jimmy Fund for 30 years – and unique items like a Red Sox/Jimmy Fund license plate, Fenway Park bricks, and a Jimmy Fund collection canister dating from the 1950s. Signage advertising Green Monster seats, replicas of the yellow foul pole atop Fenway’s left-field wall — and the championship banners outside the ballpark's main entrance add to the ambiance.
The timeline shows just how close these two iconic New England organizations have worked through the decades to provide Dana-Farber with support that translates into research breakthroughs and rising cure rates for pediatric and adult cancers. From the visits by Williams to meet with children’s cancer pioneer Sidney Farber, MD, in 1947, to the work of today’s Jimmy Fund Co-Captains David Ross and Will Middlebooks, players have been involved since the start, as have the team’s principal owners – Tom and Jean Yawkey and (since 2001) John Henry, Tom Werner, and Larry Lucchino. The timeline and display also note the important contributions of the National League’s Boston Braves and their owner Lou Perini, who helped establish the Jimmy Fund as a major charity in the region before moving to Milwaukee in 1953.
"We're proud of our long-term partnership with the Jimmy Fund and as the 2014 Jimmy Fund Co-Captains we are honored to be part of this legacy” said Red Sox third baseman and Jimmy Fund Co-Captain Will Middlebrooks. "The Boston Red Sox Jimmy Fund Gallery and Auditorium is a meaningful place to take in some of the most powerful and important moments from the past 60 years of the Red Sox and Jimmy Fund working together to strike out cancer," said Red Sox catcher and Jimmy Fund Co-Captain David Ross.
Other new features at Dana-Farber celebrated at the May 29 dedication ceremony included:
- Exterior signage along Brookline Avenue, signifying the weight and permanence of the longstanding partnership
- Renamed Boston Red Sox Jimmy Fund Auditorium, that includes the 406 Club display in honor of Ted Williams and an original Fenway Park Jimmy Fund collection box on loan from the Boston Red Sox
- Wally Bench just outside Dana-Farber’s Jimmy Fund Clinic, which brings the spirit of Fenway Park to the youngest members of Red Sox Nation