New Years is an odd holiday. I never quite understood why people would dress up, wear strange hats, sing outdated songs, and drink way to much celebrating having to purchase a new calendar. Oh sure I am as excited as the next guy to remove the cellophane from a new calendar and look at the 12 pictures that adorn each month. But after the first 10 or 15 seconds the calendar gets hung on the side of the refrigerator and forgotten. Well, that’s not exactly true. The calendar does get its fair amount of usage from January 1 through February 19 and October 3 through December 31 when I count down the days until pitchers and catchers report or lament how many days it has been since I was last at a baseball game. But overall the calendar is one of those, to paraphrase Ron Popeil, “set it and forget it” kind of things.
As the years have gone by, I have gained a new appreciation for the calendar and what it represents. It’s no longer a measuring stick that counts how many days are left but instead is a memory book filled with treasures of what we have accomplished or experienced. So today I will take down the old 2015 calendar and tuck it away. Within it covers I’ll keep the memories of all that I have seen and done this past year. There will be times when I will pull it out from its storage closet and flip through the pages and I’ll fondly remember the Will Ferrell insanity where he played nine positions for nine teams in one day within the Cactus League.
I will stop in April and think back of Opening Day where the Diamondbacks hosted the World Champion San Francisco Giants and simultaneously introduced the Churro Dog putting a good number of their fan base into a sugar coma. As I flip through the pages I’ll be reminded of the emergence of Ender Inciarte and David Peralta and seeing AJ Pollock burst onto the scene as one of the games premiere center fielders.
There will be cringe moments such as seeing Archie Bradley take a baseball of the face while pitching or hearing the devastating news of Evan Marshall being hit in the head and being rushed to the hospital with life threatening injuries. Those moments will be tempered by the jubilation of seeing them return from injury and receiving a heroes welcome at Chase Field when they make an appearance or cheering loudly when Patrick Corbin throws his first pitch after recovering from Tommy John surgery.
Not all the calendar memories will be baseball related. There will be those dates where baseball takes a backseat. Well maybe not a backseat, more like baseball is riding shotgun. Like the time I was caught watching an away game on my phone in the middle of my son’s graduation ceremony or that time that I made my daughter wear a Dbacks Daughter hat to my Dbacks Dad hat at her wedding reception.
So maybe this new calendar holiday isn’t such a bad thing. It gives us a brief moment to stop our busy schedule and reflect on the memories we have captured and think about all the games, players, and teams that have touched our lives. As I peruse through the numbered pages of 2016 I have to wonder, what will those memories be that will be captured and reviewed when I go through this exercise on January 1, 2017?