Sergio Garcia Continues to Dream of The Show

His name is the same as a famous golfer but this Sergio Garcia is not spending his time trying to beat Tiger Woods. No, this version would like to emulate, say, Oscar Robles. For this one is what baseball refers to as a utility man, one with no fixed position, who has to scramble for playing time and some attention. But, you know, it took Robles 10 long years in the minors to get up there. Still, he never quit trying and look how well he's doing today.

So, while Garcia considers himself fortunate to be playing professional baseball; right now, for the Jacksonville Suns, he's not about to give up on the chase for the big leagues. There are those examples of his type who finally made it and you'll pardon him for thinking that it could be his turn some day.

A scrambler, he's always been. He attended three colleges -- Cerritos Community, Oklahoma University and Arizona State, seeking to better his game along with his education. Did enough to make All-Big 12 in 2001 and All-Pact 10 in 2002. Okay, so it was only honorable mention. Still, it was mention, after all.

Didn't do all that badly as a senior at ASU, you understand. Hit .336 and led the team in stolen bases. You'd think that would get somebody's notice enough to be drafted. Didn't, though. Not a team put him on its list. Still, it did catch the eye of Tommy Thomas of the Dodgers so he offered a free agent contract. Sergio didn't hesitate to sign.

It is often the case of such that they're released after a year or two. Sergio made himself more valuable than that. He was a regular for the Gulf Coast Dodgers his rookie year (2002), hitting a not-bad-at-all .274 and demonstrating from the get-go that he could be moved around the infield to help on defense.

That's the kind of play he's shown since in various stops along the way through the Dodger system -- Vero Beach, Columbus and even 16 games up at Las Vegas last season. He spent most of 2004 at Jacksonville where he hit .254 to show enough to be retained for another season.

No, he's not another Robles with the bat. But he's no Mendoza-liner, either. He knows how to work the count, move the runner, etc. He's having the same kind of year this time, hitting .253. For awhile, he was hot , smoking the ball over .300 but that's not really his game. You want a guy that can play anywhere, and he's your man. He's added outfielding to his repertoire and is more than respectable out there, too.

He's a Southern California, born in Torrance, living in Paramount so the Dodgers have always been his ultimate goal. He's 25, still time to make it, too. Oh, the odds are somewhat against him. Maybe, a lot against him. Still, he keeps helping out so who knows? Robles did it and there have been others.

So, this Sergio Garcia will be aiding Jacksonville in its quest for the Southern League title. And making sure that the flame of desire doesn't go out.

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