Sunday, January 08, 2006

Red Sox Jimmy Fund Event

Before I went to the Pats game yesterday, I brought my older 2 sons to Boston for an autograph event with some of the Red Sox players. The Jimmy Fund, which raises money for cancer research, was having the event from 11:30-1:30. I got an email from them earlier in the week and thought the event sounded like something the kids would love.

For $100 you could bring 2 people, plus yourself to the event and get a baseball, a priority spot in line, and autographs from the 8 players that were there. The players were all either just breaking into the big leagues or were still in the minors. The guys that were there were Bronson Arroyo, Jonathan Papelbon, Craig Hansen, Manny Delcarmen, Brandon Moss, Jed Lowrie, Charlie Zink and Lenny Dinardo.

Since I had been invited to the game, and it takes an hour to get home from Boston, I knew it was going to be close. We got to the place about an hour early for the 11:30 start time. This guy we met while we walked over, Sean, who was a volunteer for the event was great and tried to get us in a little early but they weren't ready for us. It is amazing how dead the area around the park is on a Saturday morning in the winter. The difference is really something, even the kids said it. We took a brisk walk under the Monster seats outside the fabled left field Fenway wall but it was freezing out so we sat in the car for about a half hour.

We went back around 11 and they let us in to get our ticket and baseball and told us that we could go up at 11:30 to see the players and spend more cash on other fund raising things like bowl a strike for an autographed ball and raffles, etc. We saw Sean and he let us sneak up the stair about 5 minutes ahead so we could get right in without a big line. We were the first to get into the room where they had the lanes set up for the players.

I was really surprised how nice the players were. Mind you, none of them have made the big bucks yet, but each of them were very nice to my boys and asked their names and how they liked the Red Sox, etc. Not sure what I was expecting but I guess I was just pleasantly surprised by this. I almost expected an assembly line with them signing with their heads down, just moving the line along. I don't go to many of these autograph things because the adults drive me nuts. You should have seen all the people with tons of crap with them so they could get it signed and, most likely, resell it. My kids were both really excited to get the players autographs and talk to them for a minute and I think the players react to that a lot better than to the goofs that do it just to resell it to make a buck. To each his own I guess.

Brandon Moss was probably my favorite player based on his interaction with us. He was very friendly with the kids and encouraged them to come over and talk to him. He asked their names etc. He was the first guy we got to, so they were a little bit awestruck at first. The way he was with them helped loosen them up though. My older son brought his "autograph ball". I caught a foul ball in Colorado 2 years ago when I went to Denver to see the Sox play the Rockies. John Henry, Mike Timlin, Lenny Dinardo and Nomar (that is a story for another day, but my son got his autograph at Fenway one day) had previously signed the ball. When my son handed Brandon the ball, he took the time to look at each read each one. He was cool about signing the same ball as Nomar. It was pretty funny.

Overall, both of my boys loved it and it was for a good cause. The best part, was my renewed faith in some professional athletes. Hopefully, all these guys remember to be the same way if/when they make the big time.

And of course, I was home with a half hour to spare to be picked up by the funbus for the Pats game.


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