Tuesday, November 13, 2007

It's That Time of Year

Major League Baseball opens up for free agency today.

This has become a chance to open up new possibilities for the upcoming season as hope now has an opportunity to spring eternal for Spring Training.

As a youngster first becoming interested in the players I would memorize the players and their uniform numbers. The players' last names weren't sewn on the uniform jerseys like most teams have it today so it was a necessity to learn the players and their numbers.

I would get the program and scan the roster to see the names and the numbers they were assigned and then move on to the opposing team. It was that easy.

Nowadays, with the constant turnaround of team rosters I often flashback to players who wore that number before them. For example, the number 23 on the San Francisco Giants. When I first bundled up to head out to Candlestick Park, Tito Fuentes wore #23. Then it was Jose Uribe, Steve Scarsone, Ellis Burks and now its the guy they got for Aramando Benitez, Randy Messenger.

I do that with every team because the publications do not always provide the player and his jersey number. (Baseball Weekly does however provide this.)

With the reminiscing of past and present wearers of jersey numbers I find it interesting how we flash back to somethings. It's as if a button were pushed and we immediately reflect on those days gone by. Music does this for me as well.

I don't remember all of the details in particular, just those that pertain to specific lyrics. That first game. First kiss. First, ahem... All the firsts.

Ya think the advertising agencies may have gotten on the same page with this line of thinking? I do. To this day, every time I hear Carly Simon's Anticipation
I have this image of a ketchup bottle in suspended animation hanging over a freshly grilled hamburger as the ketchup slowly oozes out of the bottle.

Baseball conjures up all sorts of images. Some are bad memories (where your favorite team might be concerned), most are good. But they are all unforgettable.

And today is the unofficial beginning of the 2008 season.

Kevin Marquez