Legendary actor Tom Hanks wrote a touching letter to the daughter of former Oakland Raiders and Super Bowl winning quarterback Ken Stabler following his death.
Kendra Stabler Moyes sent Hanks some memorabilia after hearing Hanks was a fan of Stabler during his Raiders days. Hanks then went the extra mile and wrote a heartwarming letter from his typewriter for Kendra.
— Kendra Stabler Moyes (@KendraSMoyes) December 28, 2015
The letter reads:
Dear Kendra and Alexa,
Beyond the heroics on the field, and, say, a Super Bowl victory, why a young fan takes to any one football player is a mystery. A personal attraction.
In Oakland, the capitol of Raider Nation, the years I was a kid there we had everyone from the Black Panthers, the Hell’s Angels, the Zodiac Killer, and Charley O. Finley. And, we had the Raiders …
Your father, with his left-handedness and those two bad knees, displayed a permanent smile of bemusement that said — win or lose — “ain’t this fun?” I really did see in him the honor to be be found in playing the game, of using one’s God given talent, of taking pleasure in the effort.
That Ken Stabler came from the likes of Alabama yet played right there in my home town helped me understand the variety found in the USA. Using a pair of pliars [sic] to change the channel on my busted up kids TV (it had a few knobs missing) I would tune in San Diego to see your Dad play, or Shea Stadium to see him take on the Jets — learning that if you were good enough you could do your thing wherever you wanted.
I’m honored to wear the fine bit of Stablerwear you sent along and will continue to offer up to anyone who comes my way, and maybe just asks how I ended up where I am, that you just have to throw deep, baby …
Stabler played in the NFL from 1970 until 1984 and won a Super Bowl with the Raiders in 1976. When Stabler passed away in July he went out while listening to “Sweet Home Alabama” by Lynyrd Skynyrd. (RELATED: LeBron James Sends Heartwarming Letter To Terminally Ill Teenage Fan)
It’s stories like this that remind us all that sports mean a lot more than just what happens on the field.