By Kathy Walsh
DENVER (CBS4) – The Colorado Rockies are vying to become the favorite Major League Baseball team of a 3rd grade class in Illinois. That’s because the Rockies took a request from the students and went above and beyond fulfilling it.
Their effort has gone viral. On Twitter, the Rockies said they were “… taking care of the kiddos” and the team hit it out of the park.
“We get a lot of mail here,” said Dave Beckel, Community Affairs Manager for the Colorado Rockies.
But one envelope that arrived recently was intriguing. It came from Mrs. Foster’s third grade class in Charleston, Illinois. It included a letter and a random guy, made of paper, dressed in Rockies garb.
“Our little friend, Stanley, here,” said Beckel.
Flat Stanley … the one from the book that’s been around since the 1960’s. As a literacy project, students send Stanley on an adventure. The third graders at Carl Sandburg Elementary in Illinois made 30 Stanleys and mailed them to all the Major League Baseball teams.
“We kind of wanted to make sure we showed him the best time possible here in Colorado,” Beckel told CBS4’s Kathy Walsh.
Flat Stanley’s Colorado experience started with mile high views. Wearing a look-a-like beard, Stanley batted with Charlie Blackmon. He was dressed in specially made protective clothing when he did construction at Coors Field, and he was given a Rockies hat and his own rod when he fished in the center field fountains.
“And he caught quite a gold fish out of there,” laughed Beckel.
The Rockies call him ‘Illinois Stan.’ His VIP treatment has been retweeted more than 600 times.
“We’ve gone viral,” said a delighted Patricia Foster, the teacher behind the Stanley assignment. We surprised Mrs. Foster and her third graders with a FaceTime telephone call from Rockies headquarters.
“What do you guys think?” Walsh asked the students.
“Awesome!” they answered in unison.
Mrs. Foster told us, so far, 10 teams have responded to the Flat Stanley request, including the Chicago Cubs.
“They sent us some pictures of mascot, Clark, and the trophy and he (Flat Stanley) played a little bit of pinball,” Foster said pointing to a bulletin board with pictures.
“That’s all?” asked Walsh.
Still, Mrs. Foster remains a devoted Cubs fan. But the kids may be convinced to root for the Rockies.
“Rock some purple in Illinois, that’s where we want to see it the most,” Beckel told them.
‘Illinois Stan’ will head home with memories of a Colorado powder day. The Rocks made a big impression. You can never go wrong with a random act of kindness.