Orioles reliever Brian Matusz remembers laughing when he opened the piece of fan mail in Sarasota, Fla., last month.

He immediately showed the contents of the manila envelope to Orioles head athletic trainer Richie Bancells before informing manager Buck Showalter.

"I'm like, Richie, can you believe this?' Then I told Buck about it," Matusz said recently, chuckling. "That's probably the most unusual, interesting item any fan has ever asked me to sign. I thought it was hilarious."

Inside the envelope was a newspaper article detailing Matusz's frightening allergic reaction to a dinner prepared in peanut oil March 9 that sent the 27-year-old left-hander to the emergency room.

Also included in the package was a portable shot of epinephrine that allergy sufferers carry in case of a reaction. Although similar in content to the ubiquitous EpiPen, the Auvi-Q inside Matusz's envelope was instead square and flat like a thick credit card — easy for autographing — and included audio instructions for injecting it.

At first, he thought it was a concerned fan wanting Matusz, who has suffered from peanut allergies for years, to have the Auvi-Q in case he didn't already own one. Or maybe it was a weird collector who desired a particularly odd souvenir.

Then Matusz read the handwritten letter that was attached. It was from Wyatt Alford, an 8-year-old Braves fan from Atlanta who spent his spring break week with extended family in Sarasota, Fla., and had attended two Orioles exhibition games.

'It's pretty hard' with a peanut allergy

Wyatt loves baseball, made his league's all-star team last year and wants to be a major league pitcher or catcher. Wyatt also is hyperallergic to peanuts and most tree nuts. He has to be extra careful at restaurants. He can't have desserts unless he knows who made them and how they were prepared. He has to bring his own cupcakes to birthday parties.

"It's pretty hard, because I can't have most of the foods other kids can have," Wyatt said.