In the past we’ve seen several athletes take out full-page ads in the newspaper to say goodbye to a fan base they’re departing — whether they wanted to leave or not — and also to thank the community for their support over the years.
It's always a kind and thoughtful gesture, but not surprisingly, that wasn’t enough for reigning National League Cy Young, R.A. Dickey, who was recently traded to the Toronto Blue Jays after not being able to come to terms on a contract extension with the New York Mets.
Dickey, who took a few shots from the media on his way out the door, rose above that drama over the weekend and took his farewell message one step further than those before him by penning a heartfelt letter to the Mets and their fans that ran in the New York Daily News.
In it, Dickey's appreciation is clear, and the fact the Mets were willing to give him a fresh start and the fan base was willing to support him the whole way through is something he will sincerely never forget:
I never expected to be writing a farewell “holiday card” to Mets fans. I never expected to be doing anything but celebrating the joy of the season with my wife and kids and looking toward the spring, and the start of my fourth season with an organization that gave me maybe the greatest gift an athlete can get:
A chance for a fresh start. A chance to prove that maybe I could be somebody on a big league mound, an authentic and trustworthy pitcher, not just a retread with a weird name and an even weirder pitch — a man who was so in need of financial stability that he had to get talked out of taking a guaranteed contract to go pitch in Korea.
The Mets gave me that chance almost exactly three years ago, and I will always be grateful to them for that. Only God could’ve written the narrative that has played out in the three years since. That is what I want to focus on, and what I want to hold in my heart.
That’s just a snippet of what Dickey wrote in his near 800-word letter. It’s definitely worth a read if you have a few free moments during this holiday season. And you certainly don't have to be a Mets fan or even a baseball fan to appreciate his message.
Big BLS H/N: Larry Brown Sports
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