SANTA CLARA, Calif. (KGO) -- When the San Francisco 49ers drafted Trey Lance 3rd overall in the NFL Draft, fans were overjoyed. They took to Twitter, showing their excitement.
However, that night, it was a tweet from a 49ers fan about starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo that caught my eye -- and it wasn't about anything related to play on the field.
After reports surfaced that Garoppolo reached out to send a text to his new teammate, longtime 49ers fan Zane Muntz took to Twitter to respond.
Zane tweeted, "During the pandemic, we wanted our son to keep practicing writing. So he mailed probably 20-ish cards to NFL players across the league with letters. He got back three cards. 2 from Jimmy G and 1 from George Kittle #pro #hero."
Zane tweeted about his son Dezi. At the time, Dezi was 10-years-old during the beginning of the pandemic.
"We didn't really have anything else as far as learning devices and stuff like that during the pandemic. So, I started to write letters to get better at writing," said now 11-year-old Dezi Muntz.
Dezi wrote letters and sent football cards to 20 of his favorite NFL players across the league and just two players responded. They also happened to be two of the biggest stars from Dezi's favorite team, 49ers tight end George Kittle and quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
"Me and George both used to be those fans, you know looking up to guys in the league," said Garoppolo. "Now the roles have turned a little bit, so it's just a cool chance to give back a little bit."
"You know, to show someone you actually care, that they took the time to write you a handwritten note, and it just takes a little bit of effort for you to be able to open that, sign something put it back in the envelope and send it right back," said Kittle. "It might take you five seconds, but the 10-year-old kid in Iowa might cherish that for the next 20 years."
While Dezi received autographs and signed football cards from both of his 49ers heroes, he got a real surprise, when I showed him a recording of my Zoom interview with how Garoppolo and Kittle reacted to his home set-up and letter station.
"It made me excited," Dezi said when he watched the footage of both 49ers superstars complimenting his efforts.
"It just shows a little bit more about why those were the kind of guys that wrote autographs," said Dezi's father Zane Muntz. "It makes us excited to be fans of such a great franchise and to have great leaders on the team."
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