I met Jayson Nix one day in September in 2004. He was kind and sweet, and he signed my program. After the exchange, I was his fan. You don’t choose love, love chooses you. I would of course write him, but I never got any responses to my letters. I even wrote him as a Yankee. Oh, that killed me. On Tuesday, June 23, Jayson was released from the Iron Pigs Triple-A affiliate of the Phillies. He was batting .167. I was never quite sure he knew that I was cheering for him, so the rest of this is to Jayson.
Here is where we met. Do you remember that day? I will never forget it. It’s tucked in my mind and my heart. This is the day I became your fan. Your brother was a Ranger, and I had to cheer for you. You went 4 for 5 that day. After the game, I went to get your autograph. I called out your name, and I will never forget what you asked:
“Were you the fan cheering for me?”
You looked so serious. I thought I had embarrassed you, but when I answered that it was me, a smile came across your face. You shouted to your teammates and said:
“It’s my fan.”
Your fan. That’s what I became. I watched this guy playing for double-A Tulsa against my team, the San Antonio Missions, and he had a wonderful glove and I just saw something in him. He was going to make it the show. I just knew it.
I watched you sign with Colorado, watched you make it on Team USA and was so scared when I heard the news that you had been hit in the head. I wouldn’t hear any good news until I saw you playing in Chicago for the White Sox. I followed your career, and any chance I could watch you on television, I was glued to my set. I hated you being a Yankee. Not even my love for you could make me cheer for the Yankees, but I still cheered for you. Years later, I tracked down a baseball card.
I saw you as a member of the Phillies, and then you were gone, sent down to the minors. And then a free agent and brought up as a Pirate. Then out again, and then the Royals got you. I was so proud, I even had made a shirt made.
I screamed out and jumped up and down when I saw your name on the World Series roster. I saved this picture. I was so happy to see you smile.
Then the World Series was lost, and I knew you would go to another team. I was excited about you being an O and thought for sure you were going to make the team. I watched all the spring training games you were in.
Then you got sent to Norfolk, and I was still watching, on Milb.tv, and still cheering. Then I had hope that the Phillies would bring you up to the show. I watched you as an Iron Pig too.
I always believed that if you got back to the show, you would tear it up. I always thought that was possible. Now I write this and I just wanted you to know I have been cheering for you. I believe in you and I always will. I hope you keep chasing the dream, but if you decide to retire, I understand. I just wanted you to know that I have loved these 10 years. I have loved being your fan.
Sincerely your fan,