Martinez-Krams | A letter before your Stanford journey

June 7, 2022, 9:34 p.m.

Dear Maya,

Just as I leave Stanford, you will be starting your journey. You have always made sure to blaze your own trails, but I am so excited that we will both be able to call this wonderful, complicated place home. And I know Stanford is excited about the better Martinez-Krams. 

The campus looks and feels so different now from when I first stepped onto campus as a student four years ago. There were no neighborhoods, masking guidelines or Barrillaga. My dorm, Freshman Sophomore College, no longer exists. When I was interviewed on a radio show before an Oregon State vs. Stanford baseball series, I could proudly say that The Stanford Daily was still a daily. 

I remember telling you that I joined The Daily and how I won the lottery. Bobby Pragada ’19 pulled my name out of a hat, randomly placing me in the press box next to King Jemison ’21 for a Stanford football game day. I asked King what to wear, what to bring and how to write about Stanford’s collapse against Utah, but the best advice I received that night came as we left the press conference and walked across the south end zone.

“Do you want a picture?” King asked.

“No, I’m okay,” I told him.

“Are you sure?”

“Well, I guess.”

The picture was on my Instagram story a few hours later and still serves as my Twitter cover photo. I stopped to smell the roses, commemorating what became my first of three seasons covering football for The Daily.

I appreciated the moment when I announced women’s soccer in North Carolina on KZSU 90.1 FM, as mommies texted me material to discuss during a 30-minute delay. I glowed when I interviewed Tara VanDerveer for the first time. I texted our family group chat in awe as soon as I finished my interview with Julie Foudy

I faltered as well. I watched from the right field press area at Sunken Diamond during the NCAA regional tournament and envisioned returning to the spot in a year. I wish I had paused that moment. The pandemic wiped out the entire tournament, and I was back home living with you.

It is so easy to rush through college thinking of what is ahead. When taking out your pencil for a Monday morning lecture, it is easy to dream of a Friday afternoon nap. But if you rush through that week, you won’t enjoy the Stern burrito bowls on Tuesday, the friend with a nice smile in your Wednesday morning section or the sunset over Hoover Tower on Thursday.

It took me a while to grasp this, especially in my writing. You can read back through my early stories and know everything that happened on the field or the court, and nothing that happened outside the lines. Eventually, though, I began to capture the people in the story.

Cybele Zhang and I wrote about the Stanford players on the U.S. women’s national team, and then you and I traveled to France and your photograph appeared in The Daily. I wrote about the people making noise in a fan-less Maples Pavilion. I asked players, coaches and media members about Tara VanDerveer’s 1,098 wins. I told the story of the football team practicing in the park. I found my voice amid tragedy.

I am so thankful for the many people who helped me outside The Daily. Nick Sako wrapped me with his parka when I was shivering from the postgame cold as I interviewed David Esquer ’87 in shorts and a short sleeve shirt. Janie McCauley and I shared desserts in empty arenas, as she shared tips about how to humanize my stories. Jacob Rayburn inspired me with his writing and understanding of an entire campus’s worth of athletics.

As you know, I played club baseball at Stanford. Throughout my whole life, I wanted to end on a good swing whenever I practiced, and I would ask for “one more” until I got it. This year, I stopped asking for “one more.”

I looked at the calendar and realized this was my final year playing baseball. Instead of relying on “one more” swing to fix my mistakes, I treated every day on the field as my last. 

Therefore, when I caught COVID and isolated while my team played in the regional tournament in Lancaster, I grieved having to follow along on GameChanger, but I knew that I made my last swing my best.

You will never know when you will be doing something for the last time. You may go to TAP once a week until you spend your last dining dollars and never order another Pac-12 Burger. You will celebrate turning in your week 10 Math 51 problem set, knowing you will never take another math class. Once, I waved goodbye to sophomore year friends, not knowing the pandemic would delay our next hello by two years. 

I learned to appreciate every moment. I am so excited about yours.

Love,

Daniel

Daniel Martinez-Krams '22 is a staff writer in the sports section. He is a Biology major from Berkeley, California. Please contact him with tips or feedback at dmartinezkrams ‘at’ stanforddaily.com.

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