Dear R.A. Dickey:
I hope you don't mind my writing a fan letter on the Internet. It's strange for me too: I've been a Mets fan since 1969 (at least consciously; I was probably watching games even earlier than that) and have never written to any player before, either personally or online. But I know your mother has read AA and hopefully you will get it that way if nothing else. I would not pretend to speak for the AA community; I am just a member here and not even a writer/editor/overlord. I will simply speak for myself.
When you signed with the Mets in 2010, my first thought was, "Cool. I'd love to see a knuckleballer on the team." By the time you were called up, the double entendres were out, and I will admit I used them as much as anybody. Then came the Church of Dickey. Then the Dickeyface Photoshop contest, That was way beyond my abilities, but I looked forward to each new entry. Your popularity grew as you became the ace of the staff. But most of all, you became an almost one of a kind fan favorite: a cult hero who became one of the top pitchers in the game while keeping your humanity.
Like many, I read your book. I shuddered while reading about the revelations of your past. I laughed reading about your (then future) mother-in-law ripping Nolan Ryan a new one, getting your nails done at a salon just before you were to make a start, and climbing fences with Mike Pelfrey.I rejoiced when you got your 20th win and when you won the Cy Young award. We had no idea we would not see you in a Mets uniform again.
It has long been said that the best trade is one which help both teams. This trade seems like a classic example. The Mets are getting top prospects. The Blue Jays are getting a top flight pitcher. And, if all goes well, you may have a chance to pitch for championship team. It doesn't take away the disappointment that you'll be gone.
R.A., I wish the best for you and your family on a personal and professional level. I wish for you a reconciliation wit your father. And while they won't have the luxury of discovering something from nothing, I wish Blue Jays fans will appreciate and enjoy you the way Mets fans have for the past three years. Thank you for all the fantastic memories. I will keep those with me long after the pain is gone.
May The Force be with you.
P.S. Please don't consider the idea of tring to swim across Lake Ontario -- it's much bigger than the Missouri River.