I re-found these again two weeks back, as I was cleaning up the junk that's accumulated upstairs.
You're going to wonder what motivated me to do this, but I don't have an answer for you. I guess it was a time in my life where I felt like strange and wonderful things were there for the taking, maybe, possibly -- probably not, but possibly -- if you took a shot in the dark.
Anyway, here's the letters I wrote May 26, 2001 to Doug Mientkiewicz and Joe Mays, care of the Minnesota Twins. A similar letter to Matt Lawton (or Tom Kelly? I can't recall.) is lost to the ages. This will go without saying, but neither letter prompted return correspondence.
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Dear Mr. Mientkiewicz,
Hello. My name is [dn]. I'm a 21 year old student from Kansas.
It's hard to believe I was only 11 years old back in 1991, but mathematics are certainly hard to argue with. Perhaps it's so hard to believe because my memory of that Fall seems so vivid. Sitting on an old but well-kept brown sofa, I watched the Twins take on the Braves for seven games in the World Series. I watched from my grandparents' basement, and when I wanted to jump up and cheer in response to Kirby Puckett's amazing defense or Brian Harper's collision with Lonnie Smith I couldn't, lest I wake my sleeping grandparents. Weeks leter, my dad bought me a T-shirt proclaiming the Twins championship, which I wore proudly until its many holes rendered it unfit for its purpose.
This was the beginning of my life as a Twins fan. Now, a decade later, I find myself drawn to Minnesota once again, this time as an aside to baseball. In the fall, I will begin graduate school. [...] These past few weeks since I learned of my acceptance into the program have been exciting and anxious, as I've tried to sort out moving plans, where to open a bank account, and, most importantly, where to live in the Twin Cities. It was while I was searching for apartments on the internet that I realized just how near each other the Metrodome and my new school actually are: this was my inspiration for the letter you are reading now.
It makes quite a bit of sense when you think about it -- why not ask Doug Mientkiewicz if you can live at his house? He seems to be a down-to-earth guy; and sure, he doesn't have a high-priced major-league contract, but he's got to have a house, right? When you think about it, really, it's more stupid not to ask Doug Mientkiewicz if he has a spare room available for rent.
I could help around the house! I could do the dishes. I could take out the trash. I could buy the groceries or do the laundry. I'm a young, able-bodied college student, and if you could find me a place in the Mientkiewicz home, I'd be at your service. Plus, I'm happy to pay rent. An alternative plan may be to find me some living arrangements in the Metrodome; I could run your fan club from one of its offices!
I realize this is a lot to ask a person, which is why I'm sure you won't find it surprising that I have taken the initiative to write some of your teammates as well. This is simply to increase my odds of getting a response, and I hope you will not feel that it detracts from the sincerity of my request or the genuineness of my appreciation for you as a player.
Finally, I want to thanks you for being a part of this 2001 Twins team, a team that has given fans like myself reason to cheer once again. I truly hope that you will continue to enjoy your career as much as the recent article in ESPN the magazine indicates you are presently, and I wish you nothing but the best of luck in the future.
Thank you for your time,
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The letter to Joe Mays is identical, save for a few choice moments:
I won't lie to you, Mr. Mays. I knew nothing of you before this season. As luck would have it, however, I joined a fantasy baseball league with some friends, and I was looking for a solid pitcher one day a few weeks into April, and there you were. Joe Mays is the ace of the [dn]'s Destroyers pitching staff, and as a Twins fan I couldn't be happier.
Granted, I know you owe me nothing, even if I had enough faith in you to pick up your contract in the fake, computerized baseball world. Nevertheless, I appeal to this faux relationship between us when I ask: Can I live at your place?
...for all I know, you live in a house with a few extra rooms and may be intrigued by my request. Please be assured I would be happy to pay rent -- not only that, but I feel that I would be a real asset to the household by mopping the floors or running errands and so on.
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