Dearest Ella -
Well you certainly were born on an interesting year. Well... an interesting year for baseball that is. You and I have watched quite a few games this year... much to your mother's dismay I believe. Even though she usually guts it out and doesn't complaint too much.
Ya see... when I was born... in 1979 the Orioles made the World Series and then again in the 1983 they made it and then then the playoffs in 1996 and 1997 but I had never been to a playoff game... or even remember watching one too much. Save for those 90's ones when I was in highschool but even those didn't mean as much as the one this year does.
The Orioles, this year, were never meant to compete. They were a lot like many of the people you'll grow up with and know throughout your life. They were underprivileged, over matched, and basically asked to play a rigged game against better competition.
Now - I'll do my best throughout life to give you everything I can but I have to tell you that often times... you're going to be the underdog. And that's a good thing.
The underdog is underestimated, forgotten, and also endearing and lovable. Americans love an underdog. I love an underdog. Heck, I consider myself an underdog. Much like this team this year...
Now who knows... you may be blessed with the best attributes of both your mother and I and wind up curing cancer and running for State Senate. And we'll do our best to make sure you can achieve that but in all honesty throughout your life... there are going to be people with more advantages than you... not many... but enough that you'll always have a challenge in front of you.
With that said - work hard. Work harder than everyone else and take pride and love with you in your work. Learn that hard work, perseverance, honesty, and a positive attitude WILL pay off in the end. Often times you may find yourself on the outside with those attributes. Or you may find yourself cheated from time to time. But don't worry... the people hurting you are just terrible at life and eventually they'll fail... or die very unhappy. But if you take love and hard work with you everywhere you go... you'll win in the end.
Well - other than that you are growing up to the most adorable child of all time. We love you - more than anything and I'm glad you were brought into the world on this year because I'll now remember it for 2 things - 1) the year of your birth and 2) the year the improbably underdogs competed with the best.