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July 5, 2002
The Jimmy Fund and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute mourn the loss of longtime supporter, baseball legend Ted Williams

Photo of Ted Williams batting

BOSTON, Mass. — The staff and the extended family of the world-renowned cancer center, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, and its fundraising arm, the Jimmy Fund, mourn the loss of baseball's most famous hitter and its legendary supporter, Ted Williams.

According to the book, Hitter, the Life and Turmoils of Ted Williams by Ed Linn, "Ted Williams left two monuments behind in Boston." One of them is his baseball record, notes the author, and the other was "the foremost cancer research center in the world."

"During his lifetime, Ted was uncomfortable when praised for all he did for the Jimmy Fund," said Edward J. Benz Jr., M.D., Dana-Farber president. "But, let me say now that his commitment to the Jimmy Fund and to the children facing cancer should go in the record books as among the most any professional athlete has done to advance a cause."

"Ted signed on for life to the Jimmy Fund, helping make it the best-loved charity in New England," added Mike Andrews, former Boston Red Sox second baseman and chairman of the Jimmy Fund. "Ted's name is synonymous with our battle against cancer."

Williams last visit to the children being treated for cancer at Dana-Farber's Jimmy Fund Clinic was in July 1999, just before Major League Baseball's All-Star game at Boston Red Sox's Fenway Park. His first visit, and hundreds of subsequent ones, went unheralded, because as Williams said, "What I do for the Jimmy Fund, I do for the kids."

According to Jimmy Fund records, Williams went everywhere in the '40s and '50s to promote the cause: to American Legion banquets, to temples and churches, to Little League games, to drive-in theaters, to department stores for autograph sessions, to cookouts on Boston Common.

Picture of Ted with a young patient

Ted Williams visited the Jimmy Fund Clinic one last time on July 9, 1999.

Williams, who courageously stepped forward to serve his country twice, put his wartime experience into perspective. "All the bullets and all the bombs that explode all over the world," he said after returning home from active duty in Korea in 1952, "won't leave the impact, when all is said and done, of a dollar bill dropped in the Jimmy Fund pot by a warm heart and a willing hand."

"Ted Williams will always be our all-time All-Star," added Benz.

NOTE: Historical and recent Ted Williams and Jimmy Fund photos and videotape available upon request.