They Do Read Their Mail

Ian Logue
September 30, 1999 at 12:37 pm ET

Many folks out there dream of getting autographs from their favorite athletes. Feeling the joy of handing something to their heroes, and watching them sign their name to it, creating a lasting memory. While it may not always be possible to catch your favorite player on the way out of the stadium, here’s another good alternative to consider.
Sending a letter to an athlete may seem like a waste of time to most people out there. They feel it’s not worth it because the letter may never find it’s way to them to be read. But you’d be surprised.

I walked into the locker room one day after some of the players finished eating lunch. They walked over to their respective mail box, which is located in the locker room, and pick up their mail. They then walked over to their spot on their bench, (yes, this is Foxboro Stadium, it’s not just the fans that sit on benches. Theirs aren’t metal however) and began to open their letters. I turned my head to Larry Whigham. He held in one hand a fan letter, and in the other a football card. He smiled, set down the letter, reached into his locker for a Sharpie to sign his name to the card, and put it into an envelope to send back to a person who obviously had something nice to say about him.

I turned my head this time to Bruce Armstrong. Bruce was sitting down in his spot, and reading some of his own mail. He was obviously quite interested, because when one of the players walked over to ask him a question, he put up his hand to let them know that he was busy. A letter from a fan had his attention at the moment.

More and more of this could be seen around the locker room. Players sitting in their respective areas, reading mail sent to them by fans who admire what they do.

For those of you out there who have been frustrated at the fact that players don’t always sign autographs after the games, you need to understand something. There’s a lot to being a professional athlete. Chances are that player may have been thinking about a play he didn’t make that he needed to, or about another player who is after his job. He also could have been thinking as he unfortunately walks by a young child, how much he misses his own children, and is trying to hurry home to go spend time with them. He could also simply have been very tired, which many of us can relate to after a long day at work.

Players really do appreciate their fans, and enjoy reading fan mail. So the best advice I can offer all the fans who simply admire a player, and those who have dreamed of an autograph is quite simply, send a letter. While I won’t guarentee you’ll get an autograph, I can guarantee this:

They actually do read their mail.

Send Fan Letters to:

(The Player’s Name)
c/o Foxboro Stadium
60 Washington Street
Foxboro, MA 02035-9801

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