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Why we do what we do?

Making My Mark with the Fidrych Foundation

Today, thanks to The Mark Fidrych Foundation, I was invited to play in their 8th annual charity softball tournament.  They sponsored me and all the friends and family of the Northborough Challenger Baseball League.  Like in past years, it was a great way to put a closing on my Challenger Baseball season. The Fidrych Foundation has sponsored my team for the last 5 years and I am so appreciative to have the opportunity to play organized baseball.

Today’s event, held at Memorial Field and Casey Field in Northborough, was even more exciting than last year’s event.  I played third base on the Challenger/Miracle League team and my dad Ken played with me on the field at first.  He batted after me and you can see us both on the bases below.

I had the opportunity to spend some time with some of my teammates after the game, including NCAA 1989 Final Four basketball star for Illinois, Matthew Schnaderbeck, along with his wife, Catherine, and his two daughters, Jessica and Alexis.  Here’s me with Matthew and his daughters after we had lunch.

I had a lot of fun playing softball and even caught a hot line drive hit right to me at third and also made a few plays throwing to my dad at first.  My teammates and I all got to bat twice, once each inning, so I was happy to get two hits.  After I finished playing, I met up with one of my long time Challenger coaches, Sean Durkin, who has taught me so much over the years and he told me he was proud to see how well I played.

Before leaving, I was very excited to get some photo opportunities with some well-known sports personalities. First, I took a photo with Tessie the Green Monster.  After that, I met up with Women’s Olympic Hockey Gold Medalist Haley Skarupa.  Last but not least, I met up again with sports broadcaster Joe Braverman, who graduated from my high school, Algonquin Regional High School and now I am trying to follow in his footsteps with the same great high school sports coverage that Joe did for four years.  I have already started with “Gonk Knocks” covering the T-Hawks football team and look forward to getting some help from Joe during the year.

I’d like to thank Ann Fidyrich and the entire Fidrych Foundation staff and volunteers for sponsoring me year after year to play baseball and softball in the Spring and Summer.  Today’s event was a lot of fun and I can’t wait to play again in the Spring.


2017 Winter Musings

Although the weather is cold, my mind is focused on the sunny days of summer and planning for the 7th annual Mark Your Mark Softball Tournament.

2016 was a busy year remembering Mark.  MLB Network did a documentary, many newspapers and magazines did feature stories on Mark’s 40th anniversary as Rookie of the Year. As I reflect back, what I remember most is his life after baseball and his constant drive to do for other. 


  • “Having recently watched the Mark Fidrych story on MLB channel and seeing how much he loved to give back to the community, we are fortunate to receive this donation in his honor and continue his mission of helping children and adults with special needs.”
  • "We finished our last game of the season today! I know, it goes by so quick! We had pizzas and drinks for everyone, and trophies & medals for all 37 players! The most we've had yet!
  • Another big Thank You to Ann and your whole organization, for another great season!" 
  • "Dear Fidrych Family, thank you for continuing good works in Mark's name. The summer of 1976 was so amazing. I was a little kid playing little league in a small town in Michigan and I just plain loved The Bird. I was 11 years old and it was a joy"
  • How #sweet is this story that was shared with Ann... A young woman attended a school fair in a nearby town. She noticed that two boys chose Mark Fidrych for their biography fair. She asked them why they had chosen Mark, and they said, "He knows how we feel and he teaches you to never give up!"


Thanks to your support and commitment the Fidrych Foundation awarded close to $80,000 in grants in 2016 to area programs that support sports for individuals with disabilities. This year, with your support, we hope to continue to make a difference locally. Please consider donating today.  CLICK HERE

Looking forward to another successful year!

Play ball!
ann and jess


Remember When?

Remember when you received your first award or recognition.   Perhaps you won a spelling bee, were named most likely to succeed, or got an athletic trophy.  Think about the feeling….the overwhelming sense of pride and how your family and friends shared your success.

Now think about the children and adults we support through the efforts of the Mark Fidrych Foundation.  Many of our student athletes are participating in sports for the first time and finally have the opportunity to experience this very sense of pride.

Here are excerpts of a letter we recently received from Challenger Coaches:

I’d like to thank you for allowing the foundation to continue to fund the Challenger League.  It is truly amazing what it brings to the lives of these young kids and their parents.

We just wrapped up the 2015 Soccer season and the kids were thrilled with their trophies.  It was really mind-blowing when some of the new players announced during our trophy ceremony they have never received a trophy before in their life.  They were holding them up over their heads like it was the World Series trophy for their parents and others to cheer and enjoy that moment.  Over the course of time in our program, those children will have a shelf full of trophies they and their families can enjoy and brag about… just like everyone else.

This really explains how deep Mark’s foundation reaches.

I begin this year with a renewed sense of mission for the athletes, their families and the community.  It’s about the smiles on their faces and how the Foundation helps in this effort.

The Foundation relies on community support through sponsorships, gifts in kind and donations.  Your support truly makes a difference!




Some of Our Silent Auction Items 2016

MLB Tickets

  • Red Sox vs Yankee, 9/1, 2 field box tickets — $340 value
  • Red Sox vs Rays, 9/23, 2 field box tickets — $340.00
  • Red Sox vs Phillies, 9/4, 2 field box tickets (2 sets) — each set value $270
  • Red Sox vs Yankees, 9/2, 3 field box tickets — $210 value
  • Red Sox vs Tampa Bay, 9/24, 3 field box tickets — $90 value
  • Red Sox vs Blue Jays, 9/8, 2 Front Row Dugout seats — $656 value

NFL Tickets

  • NE Patriots vs Eagles, 12/06/15 (2 tickets; 2 sets) 

Miscellaneous Items

  • Corn-Hole Boards: 4 sets (Themes include Red Sox, Green Monster, New England Patriots, Americana) — each set value is $250
  • Golf package for four with lunch at Cyprian Keyes
  • Autographed baseball and photo signed by Alan Trammell — $160 value
  • Three month family membership to the YMCA Boroughs
  • Romaine’s gift certificate — value $100
  • Smokestack Urban Barbecue gift certificate — value $100
  • Arturo’s Ristorante gift certificate- — value $100
  • Autographed baseball signed by Peter Gammons
  • PawSox vs Buffalo Bissons, 9/5, 4 tickets — Front Row
  • Autographed poster Retirement of Boston Garden 1995 by NHL heroes — $250
  • Red Sox Ottoman — $400 value
  • 3 yards pine mulch delivered locally — Value $140
  • A complete May 15, 1977 issue (number 238) of Rolling Stone magazine featuring Mark Fidrych on the cover with article inside.
  • A complete August 14, 1976 issue (volume 182, number 6) of The Sporting News magazine featuring Mark Fidrych on the cover and the subject of the lead article and referenced in other articles inside.
  • An original Chicago Tribune wire photo of Mark Fidrych having his curly locks cut on September 22, 1976 to be auctioned for charity. Certificate of Authenticity included.
  • An original Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper photo of Mark Fidrych as sports commentator on ABC-TV’s broadcast of the Minnesota Twins vs. Texas Rangers game on Monday, September 5, 1977 from Minnesota’s Metropolitan Stadium (now the site of the Mall of America).
  • A Royal Crown Cola — Mark Fidrych metal soda can blank, ready to be formed into a cylinder and seamed (very rare).
  • A reproduction 1976 Michigan vanity license plate “The Bird.”
  • Reproduction of Rigetti and Fidrych photo taken in Pawtuckett 1983
  • Framed 20” x 24” Tom Brady Photo receiving the Lombardi Trophy 2015 — value $500
  • Framed 16” x 18” Malcom Butler Photo of winning interception Super Bowl 2015 — value $500
  • Framed 34”x 22” Scoreboard Photo of final score for 2015 Super Bowl — value $500
  • Framed and signed photo of Brad Marchand — value $500




Play Ball!

It’s a bright sunny Saturday morning as I look out onto the field at the Melican Middle School in Northborough.  Children and adults are whooping from the sidelines as children play ball for the final game of the Little League Challenger Division Baseball.  The smell of hamburgers and hot dogs sizzling on the grill fill the air celebrating the season’s end. 

There are smiles on the bystander’s faces as they cheer on the player and excitement in the voices of the coaches and buddies as they support their players’ success.  But the most amazing part is the pure joy on the faces of those playing ball….to see how playing baseball can make such a difference in these young lives! 

So as I sit down and plan out some of the final details of our Annual Softball Tournament and I reflect back on this morning’s game…..those faces warm my heart and make everything we do at the Mark Fidrych Foundation so gratifying.

We’ve grown to the point we need to have some new venues for our events.  Some key upcoming dates:

  • Aug 15 – Fundraising Auction at the American Legion Post #234, 402 West Main Street, Northborough
  • Aug 22 - Our 5th Annual Make Your Mark Softball Tournament, at the New England Baseball Complex, 333 Southwest Cutoff, (Rt 20) in Northborough.  

Of course, you can help us make a difference by donating today.  Help us continue to bring smiles to their faces.

Play Ball!