A Perfect Letter Home

On April 21 former Rice Owl Philip Humber took overthe day's sports news by throwing a perfect game in the major leagues. Theevent created a whirlwind of national attention and even landed the SidRichardson-ex an appearance on The Late Show With David Letterman.

Perhaps the most impressive and inspiring aspect of recent
"Humber-mania"however, was that when things settled down some for Philip, he turned histhoughts to his alma mater and Head Coach - Wayne Graham. Earlier thisweek Philip sent coach Graham a letter which is now published here with thepermission of both parties...

Coach Graham,

I read that you and the team were watching the closing moments of the game onSaturday after you all had finished off an exciting win yourselves. The articlesaid that you were 'calling for the slider in the ninth inning.'  Thatreminded me of my first game as an Owl, when you called a 3-2 curveball fromthe dugout with the bases loaded and the Aggie fans going crazy at Minute Maid.

I think that one moment sums up what you mean to me as a person and aballplayer. You believed that I was up to the task and because of the leaderyou are, I believed it, too. There were many times in my career at Rice whenyou told me what I needed to hear whether I agreed or not. The further along Igo in life and in baseball, the more I realize how right you were. You helpedme achieve more than I ever thought possible by pushing me in ways nobody elsecould.

The reality of the perfect game is still sinking in and I'm trying to processeverything that has happened as a result, but as of now I would rank thefeeling I had Saturday second to winning the National Championship. Theculmination of a season of hard work within a team environment towards anultimate goal is the most gratifying moment in sports. Thank you for allowingme to be a part of that.

It has taken me a lot longer to get to the big leagues in a meaningful rolethan I thought it would. The ups and downs have been worth it, and I know ithas all been used to make me a better person and pitcher. However, I firmlybelieve it would have happened sooner if I had you around to challenge mementally like you did at Rice.

I know you have been keeping up and pulling for me this whole time and I'vebeen doing the same for you guys. I wish you continued success and can't waitto see the Owls bring home another Championship.

All my best!

Philip Humber

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