“He inspired young ballplayers across the Nation for decades, and we will always remember his persistence on the field and his courage off the field. Ted (Williams) gave baseball some of its best seasons-and he gave his own best seasons to his country.” President George W Bush

The “Jimmy Fund” had its beginnings in 1948 when the Variety Club of New England teamed with the Boston Braves to help a 12-year-old cancer patient from Maine who was known as simply, “Jimmy”. Millions tuned in on their radios to listen to Ralph Edwards’ Truth or Consequences broadcast  as “Jimmy” was being visited by members of the Boston Braves. The response was overwhelming as donations poured in to buy “Jimmy” one of those new fangled TV things so he could watch his Braves play.

In 1953 the Braves headed west for Milwaukee and Tom Yawkey and the Red Sox adopted the “Jimmy Fund” as their official charity. That began a partnership which has grown and flourished for nearly six decades and a titanic energy force behind it all was and still is, Ted Williams.

I continued to tell Franc tales of Ted. I would visit him in his studio, he would ask questions and the more he asked, the more tales came forth. I told him of the reverence there was in my father’s voice when, on my very first trip to Fenway in 1959, he pointed to left field and said, “and that’s where Ted Williams plays.”

On occasion I would see Franc at Golden Beach watching the sunset.

  We would talk of tales of Ted, and it was there that Franc became more and more interested in Ted and the Jimmy Fund!

Ted’s “Welcome Home” Dinner after the Korean War raised nearly $200,000 for the Jimmy Fund!

I told Franc how, back in the day when autograph collecting was a hobby and not an industry, when it was done at the ballpark and through the mail, the one surefire way collectors could insure that they would get a 100% authentic, die in the wool Ted Williams autograph was to simply  include a check for the Jimmy Fund with their request.

I told Franc about the countless hours Ted would spend visiting kids in hospitals and how it was virtually always done away from any media and without their knowledge. for as cantankerous as Ted could be, as bombastic as he sometimes became, there was always and forever a place in his heart for kids. Especially the kids of the Jimmy Fund! Ted’s efforts on behalf of the Jimmy Fund raised into the millions of dollars. Millions!

 After awhile Franc stopped asking questions. He listened intently and he nodded a lot. His vision was taking shape in his head and his hands were about to take over.

to be continued…..

               And so it was at that time in Fenway Park history, fall 2002. 

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About fenwaypark100

Hello and welcome, my name is Raymond Sinibaldi. An educator for more than two decades, a baseball fan for nearly 60 years, I have authored four books about baseball and her glorious history; with a fifth on the way in late spring of 2015; the first, The Babe in Red Stockings which was co-authored with Kerry Keene and David Hickey. It is a chronicle of Babe's days with the Red Sox. We also penned a screenplay about Babe's Red Sox days so if any of you are Hollywood inclined or would like to represent us in forwarding that effort feel free to contact me through my email. In 2012 we three amigos published Images of Fenway Park in honor of the 100th birthday of Fenway Park. That led to the creation of this blog. The following year, 2013 came my first solo venture, Spring Training in Bradenton and Sarasota. This is a pictorial history of spring training in those two Florida cities. The spring of 2014 brought forth the 1967 Red Sox, The Impossible Dream Season. The title speaks for itself and it also is a pictorial history. Many of the photos in this book were never published before. The spring of 2015 will bring 1975 Red Sox, American League Champions. Another pictorial effort, this will be about the Red Sox championship season of 1975 and the World Series that restored baseball in America. I was fortunate enough to consult with sculptor Franc Talarico on the “Jimmy Fund” statue of Ted Williams which stands outside both Fenway Park and Jet Blue Park Fenway South, in Fort Myers Florida. That story is contained in the near 300 posts which are contained herein. This blog has been dormant for awhile but 2015 will bring it back to life so jump on board, pass the word and feel free to contact me about anything you read or ideas you may have for a topic. Thanks for stopping by, poke around and enjoy. Autographed copies of all my books are available here, simply click on Raymond Sinibaldi and email me.
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