When Jarrod Saltalamacchia left the Red Sox to sign with the Miami Marlins, not only did he leave a void behind the plate in Boston -- he also left a vacancy in one of the team's more prominent philanthropic roles. And now, as the Sox get set to begin their season, that has been filled, too.
The Dana-Farber Cancer Institute named David Ross and Will Middlebrooks its Jimmy Fund co-captains for the 2014 season, Ross taking over for Saltalamacchia alongside Middlebrooks, who was a co-captain last year, as well. In their roles, the catcher and third baseman will serve as ambassadors for the Jimmy Fund, aiming to raise awareness and support for cancer research and care at Dana-Farber.
“We are thrilled that Will Middlebrooks continues to lend his support to the Jimmy Fund and to our adult and pediatric patients at Dana-Farber,” Suzanne Fountain, director of the Jimmy Fund, said in a release. “And we are so glad to welcome David Ross to be officially a part of our team. Thanks to the support of Red Sox players like Will and David, the Red Sox organization, and the citizens of Red Sox Nation, we continue to raise funds for cancer research and care."
Ross joins a list of captains that has included Daniel Bard, Tim Wakefield, Clay Buchholz, Jon Lester, Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, and Trot Nixon, plus Middlebrooks and Saltalamacchia, all of whom have joined with more Red Sox teammates by supporting events, thanking donors, and visiting clinics through the years.
Among the duties of this year's co-captains will be serving as spokesmen for the ninth annual Rally Against Cancer fundraiser, during which Red Sox fans are encouraged to start a team at their workplaces or school. Team members then urge their co-workers, classmates, friends, whoever to each contribute $5 or more to the Jimmy Fund, and then "Dress for Sox-cess" by wearing Sox gear to school or work on April 4, in conjunction with the home opener at Fenway Park.
Through the first eight years the Rally has raised more than $3.5 million, and this year organizers have set a goal of 525,000. The top-raising workplace and school are each eligible for a visit from Middlebrooks or Ross.
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