This Tuesday marked the three year anniversary of Kelby Tomlinson playing left field for the first time. I note this every year now. This game, among hundreds of games over the last few years, stands out in my memory, though I didn’t get to watch very much of it. Matt Cain hit a double! It was also one of the cruddiest days of my adult life, as I was attending my grandfather’s funeral.
But I suppose that’s how we remember anything after a certain point. Associations with memories make certain days stand out more than others, and certain baseball games stand out more over the course of a series of long, miserable seasons.
Maybe they stand out for baseball reasons (Kelby Tomlinson playing left field was pretty absurd at the time). Or even for personal reasons. I’ll remember the Giants vs. River Cats exhibition game that year for similar reasons, because I was at the game and it was the night my grandfather passed. But that, ultimately, reminded me why I love the game so much. Because in one of the worst hours of my life, I was able to sit and find comfort in watching Brandon Belt throw a baseball. Or stop in a bar with my family after a funeral and laugh at the absurdity of players playing where they shouldn’t.
And during the long grind of these less-than-stellar seasons, I think it’s good to take stock of what we love about the game.
Do you have any games that stick out to you more than others? Which ones, and why?