Months ago, my nine year old son sent a letter to his favorite ballplayer: Athletics' catcher Kurt Suzuki. After a few days he began asking me when I thought Kurt might write back. I assured him that Kurt was probably really busy with his workouts, games, and travel, and that he would write back when he had time.
Days turned into weeks, and after a few months, my son stopped asking when Kurt would write back. "Maybe your letter got lost in the mail, buddy," I told him.
Fast forward to today. I come home from the gym to find my son in bed crying tears of joy and holding a red envelope in his little hands. "Who's it from, buddy?" I asked. "Take a look" he tells me as he wipes his eyes on his pajamas. "KURT SUZUKI!" I exclaimed as I read the return address. "Yup," he said, nodding his head knowingly.
I opened the envelope and read the thoughtful hand written note inside. Kurt apologized for the delay of his reply, answered my son's questions about being a big league catcher, and encouraged him to dream big and believe in himself. I got chills as I read Kurt's note. I looked over to my son who was still teary eyed, and we exchanged a long, meaningful pair of smiles.
"I guess you picked a good guy to be your favorite player, buddy" I said. "I guess I did," he replied.
Thanks, Kurt. Thanks for being a beacon of light in a stormy sea of questionable behavior. Thanks for writing back to a boy who idolizes you. Thanks for being worth looking up to. It means more to my son than you will ever know.