Matthew Mersch writes:
I just read your book Teardown, and as a result checked out your Flint Expats blog. I thoroughly enjoyed both. I have a loose connection to Flint. I was born and raised in Chicago. But, from 1987-1989 my older brother played hockey for the Flint Spirits. I was around 9-10 at the time and I thought driving to Flint from Chicago when my dad got off work on a Friday to catch a game was the coolest thing. The rink and the team had the feel of "Slapshot," a great movie.
I can vividly remember skating with the team at practice. I remember getting an autograph in the locker room after a game from a career minor leaguer named Mel Hewitt. He was wearing cowboy boots and bright blue underwear — and nothing else. I was just in awe and I kept asking my dad how he would get his pants on. I also got an autograph from Keith Gretzky — the younger and much-less famous brother of Wayne Gretzky
I attached a picture of a practice jersey I still have from the 1989 team. I believe my brother stole it from the goalie and gave it to me. I occasionally wear it in some old men's hockey leagues around Chicago. About ten years ago I was wearing it and made a friend with a Flint expat. He was extremely excited to talk to anyone who knew anything about Flint.