In the early 90′s, when I was a blossoming die-hard baseball fan, Mark McGwire was my favorite player. I was that kid that dug the long ball.
For a large part of my adolescence, Big Mac was the king of home runs. So I couldn’t understand it when the A’s traded McGwire to St. Louis in July of 1997. It devastated me.
It was explained to me that McGwire was going to be a free agent at the end of the 1997 season, and the A’s didn’t want to spend the money to keep him. Why wouldn’t you want to spend the money to keep Mark McGwire???
Growing up in a household where my dad roots for both the A’s and Giants, I hadn’t taken sides in the Bay Area rivalry, but I leaned towards the A’s because of McGwire. Living in the East Bay, it was also easier to go to A’s games than to go to Candlestick. Needless to say, July 31, 1997 was the day I stopped rooting for the A’s.
Back in the present-day, new 49er Brandon Jacobs probably isn’t going to set any rushing records this season, and most New York Giants fans aren’t devastated he’s no longer a member of their team.
But at least one fan tried to keep Jacobs in NYC. In fact, he broke the bank for him.
6-year-old Joe Armento was so disappointed when his mom told him Jacobs was leaving that he wrote a letter to the running back. Joe wanted to do everything he could to get Jacobs to come back, so Joe’s mom Julie typed his message for him and sent it to Jacobs:
“Dear Brandon Jacobs,
So you could go to the Giants, here is my money.
Enclosed in the letter was $3.36 from Joe’s piggy bank. Jacobs tweeted a photo of the letter and the money.
That’s a pretty awesome kid. Jacobs thinks so, too.
I almost cried, I am still trying to hold it in. I may have to pay him a surprise visit.
— Brandon Jacobs (@gatorboyrb) June 6, 2012
Jacobs later tweeted that he was going to go pick up Joe and take him to Chuck E Cheese.
On Friday, Jacobs tweeted that had contacted Joe:
Just to let everyone know I just spoke to Joseph and his mother Julie, that's one he'll of a family can't wait to meet them.
— Brandon Jacobs (@gatorboyrb) June 8, 2012
Joe’s mom Julie has a Twitter account and she confirmed the conversation:
Joe and I talked to @gatorboy45 today! He could not be nicer! He is a man of his word! #fanforlife
— Julie Armento (@juliearmento) June 8, 2012
She indulged her son by sending a letter to a professional athlete, and now her son has a memory he’ll cherish forever.
Even if Jacobs doesn’t put up great numbers this year with the 49ers, Jacobs is going to have a lot of fans when he steps on to the field at Candlestick for the first time.