The Man of Steel. The Ball Magnet. The Fan Favorite. These are just some of the nicknames you have heard during your playing time here with the Marlins. To me you have always been someone to look up to.
I remember when this all started. After every home game, you would be the one player that would come out and sign autographs or take pictures with fans. No matter what type of game you had or how late it was, you always had time for us. Because of that, I became a fan and you became family.
At first, I was just a normal die-hard Marlins fan who would try to go to as many games a year as possible. After every game I attended, I would wait to see players come out and try to meet as many as I can. I noticed not all would stop. Some more than others, but only one would stop every time: you. You made sure every fan had a chance to go home with an autograph or a picture, just to see the smile on their face.
Eventually you got to know me, and you would ask me how I was doing each and every time you stopped. This was my first time a player knew who I was and not going to lie it was pretty cool. That would be one of the many reasons you became my favorite player.
A couple years later, I was blessed enough to get season tickets with my family. Then they got to know you and you became their favorite for the same reason. As a family, we cheered you on loud and proud from the famous Section 31 and self-proclaimed it as the “Dietrich Fan Club”. Pretty soon, we had the whole section chanting “D-E-R-E-K D-I-E-T-R-I-C-H” every chance they could, and we loved it.
l will never forget my favorite moment—the day you hit a home run on my 20th birthday. You told me after the game that homer was for me, and that meant everything.
Since the start of your Marlins career, I have been a fan and will always be one. I’ll never forget the memories you shared with us and the countless times you thanked us for the support. Now, it’s my turn to say thank you. Thank you everything you have done for not just this team, but for my family. We are truly thankful for everything.
No matter what team you play for next or wherever you end up, the “Dietrich Fan Club” will always be supporting you through the good times and the bad. I’m so grateful, not only to call you a friend, but also family.
Thank you again and always remember...LET IT FLY!!!