FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Clay Buchholz has the type of stuff that could make him an ace some day. But before he gets to that point, the right-hander has already discovered the art of using his fame for a greater cause.
Buchholz is enthusiastic about his role as the 2010 spokesperson for the Rally Against Cancer, which is a program the Red Sox and the Jimmy Fund have partnered up for the past five years.
"I've seen the faces of the kids whenever I have walked into the hospital, and what it means for somebody on the Red Sox to go in there with those kids," said Buchholz. "Just to see the look on their faces prior to when they know they have a player from the Boston Red Sox coming in, and afterwards, it's night and day. It's an extraordinary thing that you get to be a part of, as far as being somebody who they look up to. These kids are going through a lot of trouble and a lot of pain, anything we can do to help suppress that -- that's all we can do."
The Rally Against Cancer is a program in which any fan who donates $5 or more to the Jimmy Fund can go to work or school wearing Red Sox gear on April 6. Whichever local company, school (K-12) or college that raises the most money will get a special visit from Buchholz, as long as it is within a two-hour drive of Boston.
"It's a grass-roots effort to get people to wear their Red Sox colors, wear their Red Sox paraphernalia with pride April 6, the day we take on the Yankees at Fenway Park, and at the same time raise money for this important cause," said Red Sox president/CEO Larry Lucchino.
The Red Sox have several cancer survivors in their organization, including Lucchino, left-hander Jon Lester and third baseman Mike Lowell.
The relationship with the Red Sox and the Jimmy Fund has lasted for nearly 60 years.
"Everyone knows what it is," said Buchholz. "Whether they're a Red Sox fan or a Yankees fan or whatever, everyone knows what the Jimmy Fund is and how important it is to this organization and all the children who get the help they deserve."
For more information, visit www.rallyagainstcancer.org.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.