Every now and then, an event may occur which is important not only because of media attention but also because it may actually influence the lives of the people who witnessed it. You made a lot of friends last night, and we thank you for showing what playing for the love of the love of the game can mean to a competitor and to the fans who feel it.
When you came out of retirement at age 50 to pitch for the Sugar Land Skeeters, you gave young kids a chance to see one of the greatest players in the history of the game of baseball in actual competition. For those of us over 50, who followed your remarkable career, you proved one can still “have it” even after half a century; and we can too!
I was really affected by the press conference which I think revealed Roger’s true priorities. I saw a man who realized his importance to the game, yet how his fame put him in a position of responsibility to influence positively and memorably the lives of others. He candidly and adeptly walked the tightrope between discussion of his athletic achievements and plans, and the efforts of those who would try to soil that record with unproven innuendi. Let us all hope he can get past the negatives and be regarded by history as one of the greatest athletes and heroes of all time.
Despite what else might be said, it was a generous act by a true icon and role model for all of us. We are glad that it went well for you – wow, you gave up no runs and only one hit in 3-1/3 innings! This is the next, but I hope not the last, in your long list of remarkable achievements. I will remember the night for the gift you gave the game of baseball and all its fans (especially the kids), the wide-eyed competitors on the field, and our little corner of southeast Texas!
Sir, do you think some day you might return and play again, or even better, be not only our friend but also our neighbor? We would like nothing more than that!
Godspeed and safe journeys,