03/31/2013 10:24 am ET Updated May 31, 2013

A Special Gift For A Dying Tigers Fan ‘Means More Than I Can Say'

Editor’s note: Tim Simpson, a long-time employee at The Gazette and former member of the Sports department, is battling terminal cancer and has been given about a year to live by his doctors. Simpson, whose 40-year newspaper career began at The Windsor Star and ended when he took a buyout from The Gazette last year, is a lifelong Detroit Tigers fan and recently received a gift from Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski – a baseball autographed by pitcher Justin Verlander. Below is a letter of thanks Simpson wrote to Dombrowski.

Stu Cowan

Dear Mr. Dombrowski:

Thank you very much for arranging for me to get an autographed baseball from Justin Verlander. My friend Michael Farber had asked you to arrange for it. Such gestures are so kind. They’ve been happening quite a lot for me in recent months.

I’m a kid (well, 57 years old) from Windsor, across the river from Detroit. It’s amazing how much of an influence that city had on my upbringing. Detroit was Hudson’s at Christmas, to see Santa Claus; Woodward Ave.; the Ambassador Bridge and the Windsor/Detroit Tunnel; Gordie Howe and the Production Line at the Olympia; the Lions at Tiger Stadium.

Read more on Windsor Star