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MLB, MLBPA join Sox for One Fund donation

Trio combines to raise $646,500 for victims of Boston attacks

BOSTON -- Baseball is rarely an afterthought here, especially to the Red Sox owners. But over the past week, it has been.

Team president and chief executive officer Larry Lucchino was sitting on a couch inside a Fenway Park suite Sunday night, yelling at the television as his club suffered through a doubleheader sweep against the Royals.

With every sound of the bat, his eyes grew wider. But suddenly, Lucchino grew even more serious, turning and yelling across the room.

"Can you turn that up?" he said.

Mayor Thomas Menino, a longtime friend of Lucchino's, was on NESN, talking about The One Fund Boston, a non-profit organization set up by Menino and governor Deval Patrick to help the people most affected by the bombings at the Boston Marathon last Monday.

As soon as the dust settled, Lucchino said he, Tom Werner and John Henry -- the three Red Sox owners -- called Commissioner Bud Selig to figure out a way to help.

The victims needed support, and the answer was a $646,500 donation.

Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association chipped in $500,000. The Red Sox added $100,000, and the Red Sox Foundation, with help from fans donating at Fenway Park this past weekend, contributed $46,500. All the money was presented to The One Fund Boston on Sunday.

"For us, it was important," Lucchino said. "We always understood we had an obligation and an opportunity to give back to the community. We all need to unite and come together in this."

In addition to the donation, the Red Sox teamed with 47 Brand to sell specially-designed hats at Red Sox team stores and The stone-washed blue hats have the B-Strong logo on the front and sell for $20, with 100 percent of the proceeds donated to The One Fund Boston.

As of Sunday night, $300,000 had already been raised via hat sales.

The uniforms that the Red Sox wore Saturday will be auctioned off within the next couple of days to keep the donations flowing, Lucchino said.

"As far as we know, that's the first time in the 113-year history of the Red Sox they've worn white uniforms that say Boston on the front," he said. "They have been signed and will be auctioned off.

"This will be a continuing effort on the part of not just the Red Sox Foundation, but other local institutions too."

Menino, who has been a vocal leader in the raising of funds for victims, said, "It's about Boston coming together. That's what we look to this fund for. Everyone is coming together and helping each other out at a very difficult time."

First responders to Monday's tragedy were honored again during Sunday's games, and Lucchino said it will be a continuing theme over the course of the season.

Jason Mastrodonato is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @jmastrodonato.
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