Sportress of Blogitude

Tom Hanks sends touching letter to idol Ken Stabler’s family

Tom Hanks was a huge fan of Ken Stabler while spending his teen years growing up in the Bay Area in the 1970s. And the fact the actor idolized the great Oakland Raiders quarterback so set into a motion a sequence of events that led to him sending a touching letter to the NFL icon’s daughters just before Christmas.

When Stabler passed away last summer at the age of 69 due to complications related to colon cancer, Hanks took to Twitter to mourn his death.

Upon learning that Hanks was such a huge fan of her dad, Stabler’s eldest daughter Kendra Stabler Moyes sent the Hollywood icon some memorabilia from her father’s estate.

Obviously touched by the gesture, Hanks apparently sat down at an actual typewriter to write a heartfelt letter in gratitude, something that Moyes shared earlier this week on Twitter.

It reads, as transcribed by Shutdown Corner:

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 …

Tom Hanks

Hanks is a well-known sports fan, often popping up at Los Angeles Kings games and the like. But for him to sit down and express his gratitude in such a manner is so quintessentially “Hanks-ian,” especially given the sterling reputation of the beloved actor as an all-around Hollywood nice guy.

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