A father wrote to each MLB team asking why his son should be a fan ... three have responded

Many baseball fans never had a choice when it came to picking a favorite team. Whether it be carrying on a family tradition that links several generations, or a simple matter of location and convenience , it’s usually more about stepping into a role than figuring which team’s style or tradition best suits their tastes.

That won’t be the case though for Pete Van Vleet’s young son Jake. The longtime Houston Astros fan wants his son to make his own decision, and in doing so he’s challenged all 30 Major League Baseball teams to fight for his son’s fandom.

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It started with a letter to each and every team. Now its’ developing into something of a recruiting war as a handful of teams have already responded with persuasive bids. From personalized letters to packages filled with gifts, the race for the free agent fan is in full force, and we wouldn’t be surprised to see a few more teams jump in.

The first to respond was Pittsburgh Pirates team president Frank Coonelly, who wrote a letter filling in young Jack on Pirates history. That included a brief lesson on how the Pirates nickname came to be.

(@petevanvleet on Twitter)
(@petevanvleet on Twitter)

That made the Pirates the early leaders in the clubhouse. However, the New York Mets would enter the fray soon after, sending along a package filled with merchandise.

People love free merchandise, but the Mets better be careful. Soon their mail room may be inundated with similar letters from fans expecting their own box of goodies.

Of course, Van Vleet’s favorite team, the Astros, weren’t going to sit idly by and allow a fan with Astros genes slip away. Team president of business operations Reid Ryan got in the mix, signing a photo that can later be redeemed for tickets to any game.

Again, free is always good. But free tickets to a baseball game is even better. We’d like to think this gives the Astros the inside track, but it appears a final decision is still a ways off.

Consider this our own challenge now to the remaining 27 teams to step up their game and make this a tough decision.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!