The Good, The Bad and The Ugly: Jimmy Fund Steals The Show
Warning: Do not read this article if you have not seen the Clint Eastwood film, as it contains spoilers. This is a joke. I can assure you that this article has absolutely nothing to do with the 1966 cowboy movie.
You should know how it works by now. Every Friday (until I get fired from this job) I compile a list of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly from the past week in Boston sports.
For those of you who still don’t understand how this simple system of organization works:
Good, now let’s get started.
This past week, the good overwhelmingly triumphed over the Bad and the Ugly. Our Red Sox are winning, and well nothing else of concrete value is really going on in sports. So yeah, the Sox are hot. Cool. But that’s beside the point. The best thing to happen this week dwells on the periphery of Boston sports. In fact, it’s not a sport at all. The winner of the Best category is a venerated charity that held it’s hallmark event this past Tuesday through Wednesday.
People of Boston: It is a very important time to appear to be philanthropic in front of your friends. WEEI and NESN hosted their 16th annual Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon this past week. If you haven’t donated yet, better break out those wallets!
No, but in all seriousness, the Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon represents a very solemn cause. Since it’s conception in 1947, the Jimmy Fund has been dedicated to subsidizing cancer-treatment research in both children and adults. Through oncology specialists at the Dana-Farber institute, they also offer free treatment to families who could otherwise not afford the care their loved ones need. For the past 16 years, the Jimmy Fund has partnered with our Boston Red Sox in a galvanized battle against cancer.
Tens of thousands of volunteers, including their eternally gracious patients, gather in a concerted effort during the Radio-Telethon. The patients share their saccharine stories of fighting this terrible disease. You can hear in their voices the deep admiration and gratitude they hold for the Jimmy Fund. These courageous kids are enabled through the Red Sox and other charitable partners, to share their unique stories on massive platforms. Such platforms include live televised coverage of the Radio-Telethon, and also live radio broadcasts.
What these institutions have collaborated to accomplish here with the Radio-Telethon is a beautiful thing. Since 2002, they have raised nearly $50 million for cancer research and treatment. The greatest facet of this event is obviously the microphone they provide for the patients. These are real stories of real mortal warriors. The Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon embodies the therapeutic influence that sports can have on people, an influence oft-taken for granted.
Newsflash: the beloved Yawkey Way commemorates a true villain of Boston sports. It’s named after Tom Yawkey, former owner of the Red Sox. If you haven’t heard, he wasn’t the most honorable of guys.
Whispers of this inconvenient truth have been passing around for the ages. Yawkey, who owned the Sox from 1933 to 1976, was an inveterate racist. Not that it could redeem this Scrooge-like xenophobe, but the Red Sox weren’t ever very good when he was the owner! Why pay any homage to him in the first place?
Yawkey’s bigotry was illustrated by his reluctance to promote African-American players within the Sox farm-system to the big leagues. Even if these kids were showcased big time potential, Yawkey would rather comprise the franchise than have an African-American on the team. In 1959, 12 years after Jackie Robinson’s first game, the Red Sox became the last team to include an African American on their starting roster. This was all done under the oppressive direction and misguided direction of Tom Yawkey.
And this dude has a street named after him? Clearly, something has to change.
John Henry has the cumbersome charge of trying to reform the identity of the Boston Red Sox.On Thursday, he announced plans to rename Yawkey Way. This is a recalcitrant idea, as conservative Sox fans may feel violated by this historical revision. As they should; change stinks. But if one educates themselves on the uncensored legacy of Tom Yawkey, they realize why he’s undeserving of any dedication. Unfortunately, Here’s where the news gets worse.
The suggested names for the renaming are really (I mean REALLY) bad. On social media, we see sports journalist myopically pandering. Just absolute spitball scattershot hope something hits pandering. Things like “Koji Way”, “David Ortiz Street” and “The Red Sox Are The Best Avenue” are being tossed around. But do not despair Sox fans: I have the perfect new name for Yawkey Way - “Remy Lane”.
Think about it. Who else, closely associated with the Red Sox, deserves more reverence than Jerry Remy? He’s provided colorful and insightful commentary during Sox games for a good portion of all our lives. “Rem-Dog” has been with us through the peaks and valleys; he’s been with us through it all.
Remy is also facing a very tumultuous time in his life, as he is undergoing cancer treatments once again. It’d be such a beautiful dedication ceremony. I can already hear “Remy Lane” (a parody of Penny Lane by the Beatles) resounding up and down that ancient thoroughfare we’ve all grown to love.
Here’s a quick Ugly category: a cameraman got hit by a first-pitch right in his family jewels, on Wednesday. Standing to the left of home plate, he took the wild pitch square-on and then crumpled in pain. If you haven’t seen the viral video from the NESN broadcast I’ll tell you, this kid through a heater of a first-pitch!
What’s uglier than the science of this poignant incident: the dude who got hit was a CAMERAMAN. Aren’t they known for their eyes? He didn’t have a clue what was coming for him. The photographer missed the not so big picture. Dude if you’re reading this, you always protect that area first and foremost! Every guy knows that.
This tragic accident has a happy ending: The pitcher and the “recipient” have since reconciled. The cameraman, Tony Capobianco, and the pitcher, Jordan Leandre, teamed up again at the Oldtime Baseball Game on Thursday night. Jordan Leandre, a cancer survivor, threw out the first-pitch to cameraman Tony (who now had a glove). This time around Jordan successfully hit Tony right in the sweet spot, the glove that is. Great job fellas!