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Jimmy Fund auctions off Papi jersey

Jimmy Fund auctions off Papi jersey

BOSTON -- Some might call it a curse, others might say it's a goodwill gesture by longtime baseball rivals.

The official charity of the Red Sox, the Jimmy Fund, began an eBay auction Thursday for the David Ortiz jersey that was buried under the New York Yankees' new stadium by a Boston fan hoping to create a hex.

All proceeds will go to the children's cancer charity, which is affiliated with Boston's Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The jersey was discovered Sunday and the Yankees sent it to the Jimmy Fund.

The auction lasts for one week. The starting bid was $500 for the No. 34 jersey, a brand new jersey and two seats to a Red Sox game.

"It's certainly a very, very valuable piece of property," said Mike Andrews, the chairman of the Jimmy Fund and a former Red Sox second baseman.

"We're bitter rivals when we go on the field, but there's one thing we have in common, and that's the fight against cancer," he said. "I think it was wonderful they thought of us immediately, but I'm not surprised."

Construction worker Gino Castignoli, a Red Sox fan from the Bronx, had dropped the jersey in wet concrete, apparently trying to jinx the Yankees.

Tipsters led the Yankees to the jersey's location, under two feet of concrete in a service corridor.

The jersey didn't fare well underground. It was torn from the jackhammers and stained, and some of the letters spelling "Red Sox" on the front are falling off.

"We're very happy that the end result of everything is that the Jimmy Fund is the one that's going to benefit," Red Sox spokesman John Blake said. "That's a great thing."

The Yankees declined to comment Thursday.

Some fans speculated the Yankees may have removed the wrong curse by excavating the jersey. Before it was found, Ortiz was slumping at .070. Since then, the popular designated hitter was batting .267 (4-for-15).

Ryan Reardon, an 8-year-old Red Sox fan and cancer patient at Dana-Farber, helped unveil the jersey Thursday at the hospital. He said he felt good about the Yankees, since they're helping the Jimmy Fund.

When asked how long he expected that to last, he replied: "Just today."

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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