A 9-year-old A's fan whose home was destroyed in the Northern California wildfires has reached out to his hometown team in an effort to replace some of his most prized possessions.Loren Jade Smith, who lost his vast collection of A's memorabilia in the wreckage, penned a touching letter to the
A 9-year-old A's fan whose home was destroyed in the Northern California wildfires has reached out to his hometown team in an effort to replace some of his most prized possessions.
Loren Jade Smith, who lost his vast collection of A's memorabilia in the wreckage, penned a touching letter to the club. An outpouring of responses has followed.
A's president Dave Kaval, upon seeing the letter published by ABC7 News, tweeted, "This is so touching. So sad to hear about their loss. We would be happy to completely outfit the family in new Athletics gear."
The team's official Twitter account backed Kaval, urging fans to join the cause: "If you'd like to donate baseball memorabilia to our pal Loren," the A's tweeted, "please send items to the address below and we'll make sure they get to him."
The Tampa Bay Rays also showed their support for Smith, tweeting a picture of a care package stocked with collectibles headed his way. Others are also rallying to rebuild the boy's collection, with former A's pitcher Dan Haren and Eireann Dolan, the wife of former A's pitcher Sean Doolittle, offering to ship him memorabilia.
Even Topps Company, the producer of baseball trading cards and collectibles, tweeted, "can you send us info on how we can help" as Smith's letter went viral.
Smith's letter reads:
"I love watching your A's games. I want to be an A's player and I play at Mark West Little League in Santa Rosa. I played baseball in my backyard all day loving the A's and making up my own game. In my backyard they won six World Series in a row. But my house burned down in the Santa Rosa fire and my saddest things was my baseball collection cards, my 17 jerseys and 10 hats and my baseball from the game and also a ball signed by the whole team and Rickey Henderson and Bob Melvin. My brother and me have so much fun but he is only 9 months old. I am teaching him how to throw balls. I have every single A's card from 2000 to now but I am 9 years old. I had a major league baseball and it all burned up. So sad. I know you are not all together but hope they get this."
The A's have also joined forced with other Bay Area professional sports teams -- San Francisco Giants, San Francisco 49ers, Oakland Raiders, Golden State Warriors, San Jose Sharks and San Jose Earthquakes -- to collectively commit $450,000 to support fire disaster relief efforts. They've called on fans to assist in these efforts at youcaring.com/firerelief.
Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.