DENVER — Michigan native Thomas Baird loves baseball.
"I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve done with baseball, from playing to coaching to scouting to umpiring to attending big games," he said. "I love it all."
And baseball loves him back.
Baird is part of a very special club -- the 'Go to an MLB All-Star Game 50 years apart' club. This baseball fanatic was in Detroit at Tiger Stadium for the famous 1971 MLB All-Star Game.
Baird decided to write two letters to MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred, telling him about his experiences 50 years ago. Soon after, Baird heard back from baseball’s boss.
"He read my letters and he had his executive assistant call me and tell me that he read the letters and that he invited me and my guest to the All-Star Game [at Coors Field in Denver]. It just blew me away! Obviously he doesn’t read every letter that he gets. I really appreciate him taking the time to read my two letters and then choosing me as one of maybe a few that are here as his guests," he said.
Baird traveled to the Mile High City with memorabilia from that special game 50 years ago, including his actual ticket stub (which cost him $8 in 1971), an All-Star pennant, game programs and much more.
"I have memories of me, my father, and my brother seeing a great all-star game. 22 Hall of Famers, six home runs by Hall of Famers," he said. "The memorabilia that I have from the All-Star game I just naturally was gonna keep. It wasn’t until 30-35 years later that it had more significance to me."
Baird was allowed to bring a guest on his quest to see today’s MLB stars in Denver, so he brought his nephew Jason along.
"I’m enjoying every minute I’ve been here so far and I’m looking forward to the next couple of days," he said. "I’m going to soak it all in."
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