If you’re like most students in America, at some point during your middle school or junior high experience you were probably tasked with writing a celebrity or professional athlete a letter. Most of these pieces of fan mail receive responses with autographed photos, and usually it’s a favorite project for students who are thrilled to hear back from their heroes. 

But in the early 2000s, many of the young fans who chose to write Detroit Lions most famous player, Barry Sanders, didn’t hear back…that is until now, nearly two decades years later. ESPN reports that approximately 150 fan letters were discovered in 2018 by Detroit Lions employee, Brandon Scott. 

Letters were delivered to Sanders who has been surprised and honored at the outpouring of love from young fans who sent their letters after leaving the Lions and entered into retirement. 

Courtesy Brian Fornasiero, Detroit Lions

While all the children who wrote to Sanders are now grown adults, Barry says he is working to respond to them all. (As if we didn’t already love Barry Sanders enough already!)

You can read more about this story and see several of these lost fan letters here.

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