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California dreaming

Mail helps young baseball fan after wildfires

Oakland Athletics President Dave Kaval and young baseball fans
Oakland Athletics President Dave Kaval and young baseball fans gather recently with Loren Smith, center. Image: Oakland Athletics

The Oakland Athletics recently pitched in to help a 9-year-old fan who wrote to the team after the California wildfires destroyed his collection of baseball cards and jerseys.

After 9-year-old Loren Smith’s Santa Rosa home was reduced to ashes during the fires, he wrote to his favorite team to let its members know he lost the memorabilia.

“I had every single A’s card from 2000 to now … and it all burned up. So sad,” Loren wrote on a sheet of notebook paper he mailed to the clubhouse.

The A’s responded by organizing a drive for Loren, collecting memorabilia from other fans and the team itself. The outpouring of donations included season tickets, which Dave Kaval, the team’s president, and catcher Bruce Maxwell presented to Loren last week.

“To see that he’s still in a positive light within himself and his family is something that’s inspirational to a lot of people,” Maxwell told CBS News.

Loren didn’t keep all of his newly acquired mementos. Instead, he gave many items away to other fans in need.

“They lost their homes too,” Loren told CBS. “I just want to give [the items] away because I have too much.”

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