RA Dickey’s Open Letter to Mets Fans

Instead of taking out an ad to say “thank you,” R.A. Dickey chose to pen an entire column. Here it is, reproduced from The New York Daily News:

A little over a year ago I was knocking around book titles with my publisher when we finally found a keeper. The minute I heard the words, “Wherever I Wind Up,” I liked the cadence of them. I liked the mystery of them.

Most of all, I liked the way they captured the essence of my nomadic pitching life — which has now taken another completely unforeseen turn.

I never expected to be writing a farewell “holiday card” to Mets fans. I never expected to be doing anything but celebrating the joy of the season with my wife and kids and looking toward the spring, and the start of my fourth season with an organization that gave me maybe the greatest gift an athlete can get:

A chance.

A chance for a fresh start. A chance to prove that maybe I could be somebody on a big league mound, an authentic and trustworthy pitcher, not just a retread with a weird name and an even weirder pitch — a man who was so in need of financial stability that he had to get talked out of taking a guaranteed contract to go pitch in Korea.

The Mets gave me that chance almost exactly three years ago, and I will always be grateful to them for that. Only God could’ve written the narrative that has played out in the three years since. That is what I want to focus on, and what I want to hold in my heart.

I am not going to lie to you, though. The trade was hard for me at first. This is where my heart was, where I wanted to be, where I lived out a story of redemption and felt that every one of you shared it with me in some form or fashion. I loved pitching for you. I loved your passion, the way you embraced me from the start, and the way you seemed to appreciate the effort I was putting forth. Every time I’d walk off the mound after an outing, I’d look in your faces, the people behind the dugout, and felt as if all your energy and support was pouring right into me — even when I was lousy. It gives me chill bumps thinking about it even now.

Every organization has to do what it feels is in its best interest, and I have no doubt that that’s what the Mets did by trading Josh Thole, Mike Nickeas and me for two young players who, by all accounts, are terrific prospects. It doesn’t make saying goodbye any easier.

From the beginning of last season to the end — when you cheered with all you had that Thursday afternoon when I won my 20th game — I felt that this was a shared journey, that we were all in it together. What a great way for an athlete to feel.

There were so many special relationships I formed that made my time with the Mets so much richer. Not just in the clubhouse, either. I enjoyed talking with Bill Deacon, the head groundskeeper, about his craft, and all that went into it. The security people who helped my wife and kids get in and out of the family lounge, the policemen who helped me get out of the parking lot, the folks at the Hodges Gate — so many people went out of their way to be kind to me, and they should know how much it was, and is, appreciated.

I was going to take out an advertisement to express these thank yous, but decided in the end that there was too much I wanted to say. So I am writing this instead.

As I move beyond the sadness over leaving here, I know I have a tremendous amount to look forward to. The Blue Jays may need name tags on the first day of spring training, but once we get acquainted, well, this team could be something. I appreciate the welcome I’ve already gotten from them, and what they’re trying to build. We’ll see how it all unfolds.

God has blessed me in so many ways. His grace and mercy are at the center of my life. I may not pitch for the home team anymore (a friend told me I now have to start calling myself a Canuckleball pitcher ) but wherever I go from here — wherever I might wind up in the future — I hope you know that I will never forget my three years in New York, and never be able to adequately thank you for everything you’ve given me.

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Dan December 24, 2012 at 7:29 am
    An exceptionally rare class act. May the road rise up to meet him …
  2. Izzy December 24, 2012 at 9:44 am
    Tip of the hat to you Dan, and to RA. The Met fans loved you but you are better off away from a GM that is irritated that you are smarter than he is, and aren’t his yes man and by an owner who knows nothing about class and decency.
  3. NormE December 24, 2012 at 10:00 am
    In this era of Mets mediocrity R.A. was, as Dan says, “an exceptionally rare class act.” I’m hoping that his act continues in Toronto and they have a great season. I’m also hoping that the package the Mets received in the trade blossoms for the Mets and, in the future, helps lead them out of the morass they are stuck in.
  4. Florian December 24, 2012 at 11:41 am
    Wow. A true class act. I ESPECIALLY like the paragraph where he thanks the groundskeeper, police crew etc. but only mentions the clubhouse in passing. I mean that without any irony: he has his priorities straight and thanks the people that have been good to him.
    Maybe the only open letter in a long while where the head groundskeeper gets mentioned by name.
  5. Joe December 24, 2012 at 12:30 pm
    Thanks for the memories.

    “Beauty, eh?

  6. nwaldrop December 25, 2012 at 12:27 pm
    What else can you say? I’ll look forward to watching him pitch anywhere. To see him in the world series would be a gift.
  7. chris December 26, 2012 at 4:52 pm
    I’m happy he will be playing for a contender and not the Wilpons. Sorry to see him go, but he deserved better. Wish we had new owners, Reyes and him back, but that wouldn’t be being a Mets fan!
  8. Arleen December 28, 2012 at 4:59 pm
    I looked forward to every game that RA pitched. His talent and character are unmatched. Toronto’s gain is the the Mets loss. How sad.