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'Ted Sox' reunite Sunday to honor Kennedy

By Ed O'Keefe

Coach Griff Doherty, center, and the Ted Sox before a 2009 game. (Photo By Terri Roney For The Washington Post)

The U.S. Senate Softball League will play this year for the first time in 43 years without the “Ted Sox,” a team fielded by the office of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) that usually won more games than it lost each season.

But at least 20 former team members and Kennedy staffers will reunite this Sunday in Washington for the Race for the Hope 5K run to benefit the National Brain Tumor Society and Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure. The fundraiser, now in its 12th year, drew nearly 10,000 runners last year.

Kennedy, who died last August of brain cancer, employed more than 300 staffers during his 46-year Senate career. The Kennedy-inspired team was launched by former intern Tamar Sekayan and Kelsey Phipps, who worked for the senator’s personal office and the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which Kennedy chaired.

The pair recruited former colleagues and staffers in other Senate offices and have raised more than $5,000 for the race. They also earned the support of the late senator’s wife, Victoria Reggie Kennedy.

“Teddy was blessed to have men and women on his staff who are not only brilliant, but are also loyal, caring and giving people,” Reggie Kennedy said in a statement provided by Phipps. “Teddy would have been so touched by the kindness and generosity of his team. I certainly am.” Reggie Kennedy will be attending a tribute to the former senator in Boston this weekend.

The Ted Sox went undefeated in 1987, said Phipps, who’s now a student at Georgetown Law School. Games usually drew about 20 staffers to the Mall to face off against other Senate offices and teams organized by several Capitol Hill bars, including the Hawk and Dove.

Sunday’s reunion is one of many held since Kennedy died last year. Several colleagues gathered the Sunday before Kennedy’s February birthday at his Arlington National Cemetery grave site, while others attended a retirement party in the Russell Senate Office Building in March for Carey Parker, Kennedy’s longtime legislative director.

Interested donors may send checks to:
Race for Hope -- D.C.
P.O. Box 95066
Newton, Mass. 02495-0066

RELATED: The Life of Edward M. Kennedy.

By Ed O'Keefe  | April 29, 2010; 4:06 PM ET
Categories:  Congress, Workplace Issues  
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