The Baltimore Orioles had another season to forget, but what they did afterward may stay with fans forever.
Following another losing season in which the Orioles only won a third of their games (54-108), players penned hand-written thank you notes to select season ticket holders. Dan Connolly featured the notes in The Athletic on Thursday.
During Fan Appreciation Weekend at the last homestand of the year, players were given Orioles stationary cards and asked to write a brief “thank you” to randomly selected season ticket holders. The letters, totaling between 25-30, will likely arrive this week.
It was the brainchild of Kristen Hudak, the club’s director of public relations since December 2014.
“I wasn’t sure what the reaction would be. The guys that I spoke to about it were immediately supportive. I saw many of them sit down and start writing right away. It felt like they had something on their minds or something they wanted to say and that was an opportunity for them to do it in a heartfelt way. And then, when I started to collect them, I was just really touched and moved by their answers and the time that they took to be thoughtful.”
She said watching them write was “a little bit like watching guys cheat on a test,” but everyone ended up with different, heartfelt ones.
The letters were both thankful and encouraging, per The Athletic, with notes that the team grew together this year and will have better days ahead. Most of the Latino players had assistance from the team translator, who even translated Miguel Castro’s thoughts onto paper in English so he could copy it, but all gave their own thoughts.
Dillon Tate, who was recalled from Triple-A in August and pitched 21 innings, wrote to a fan named Larry:
“I appreciate your support in being a season ticketholder. As you probably have seen, there is work to be done. Something I’ve learned this year is that one’s outlook on any given situation has a lot to do with the result. I’m confident that things will improve. Progress is progress, no matter how little. The O’s are moving in the right direction! Thank you for your continuous support. Go O’s! Dillon Tate.”
Heading to the mailbox used to be more exciting before the day of immediate text messages, birthday cards on Facebook walls and notes through Snapchat. The Orioles, at least this month, are making it exciting again. It’s a small condolence to a second-consecutive 100-loss season. Maybe the group can make life at Camden Yards, which had the fewest fans in its 28-year existence, exciting again soon, too.
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