For most, fandom isn’t discovered – it’s inherited. Die-hard parents dress their kids in their favorite team’s hats, shirts, and diapers long before the kids can understand what the hell sports are. And by the time a child is old enough to choose to whom they will pledge a lifetime of allegiance, the decision has already been made for them. But Pete van Vleet, a Houston Astros fan, wanted to end the cycle. He wrote letters to all 30 MLB teams asking them to present their case for why his son should support them. Several teams responded, and a few even showed that they aren’t above bribery when it comes to recruiting a new fan.
– pete van vleet (@petevanvleet) April 11, 2017
The Mets sent Jack a ton of cool shit, including a Mets bib, two baseballs, and some Mr. With stickers. The Pirates decided to go with a classier, but kind of boring approach, sending a letter written by Team President Frank Coonnelly encouraging Jack to become a swashbuckling fan. The only issue? By the time Jack can actually read, it might be too late. The Astros also threw their hat in the ring, sending a signed photo that can be redeemed for tickets to any Houston home game.
Seeing all these teams reach out to an individual fan and plead their case is pretty dope. Now, given the lifetime of money fans will throw at their favorite team, does a bit of bribery make sense? Of course. But they may have wanted to wait a bit before trying to win over Jack, as dedicated fandom does not really start until a kid is around 7-years-old.