“The Jimmy Fund was a stroke of genius,” says Johnson. “Taking a medical institution, pairing it with a team, and using it for philanthropic ends. Completely cutting edge. The Jimmy Fund is the lasting tribute to that franchise.”
And so are the Boston fans — ever fewer of them — who still root for their team, even as the Braves play in front of 50,000 tomahawk-choppin’ fans at Atlanta’s Turner Field. BBHA’s Byron Magrane remembers talking to one old timer in his local corner store in Revere who was wearing a cap with an “A” on it.
“I said, ‘Why aren’t you a Red Sox fan?’ He said, ‘The Red Sox aren’t my team. The Braves are my team. They’ve always been my team, and they’re the team I’m going to root for until the day I die.’ ”
As the Red Sox flourish, the Braves’ legacy fades ever faster. Altison recites the names of former players who’ve passed away since the beginning of last year: Sibby Sisti. Johnny Sain. Lew Burdette. Buddy Kerr. Ray Berres, the oldest Brave, died in February at age 99.
Slowly, living memory is disappearing. “You put a lot of effort into rooting for these teams and then one day they’re gone,” says Magrane. “This team was around for years. It had generations of fans. And now no one seems to care about them. Kind of sad, in a way.”
: Lifestyle Features
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