Don't Forget This Garcia, Please

Sergio Garcia has to wonder if he'll ever make a name for himself. After all, there's that golfer from Spain- the one they call "El Nino"- that people tend to think about when they hear the name mentioned.

This one, though, is a baseball player bidding for recognition. Maybe it's because he tends to move around a lot that he doesn't really get acquainted. He's played for three different colleges while, as a pro, there's only been two seasons that were spent with the same team. And he really can't be identified by position for he's always moving there, too. So far he's played everywhere but pitcher, catcher and first and it's probably only a matter of time before he gets around to those.

This Garcia is native Californian, who, after he graduated from Paramount High, first attended Cerritos Community College. He next matriculated at the University of Oklahoma. Did well there, too, hitting .311 in 2001 which gained him mention as all-Big 12. Still, he transferred to Arizona State. Did even better there, hitting .336 while leading the team in stolen bases.

Now, you'd think, somebody'd call out his name on draft day after a year like that. Didn't happen. But Dodger scout Tommy Thomas had followed him so signed him as a free agent in June 2002. Sent to the Gulf Coast League, Garcia settled in to play most every day while batting .274. That gained him a salute as the team's MVP.

It was also the last time he could be called a regular in any lineup. After that, it's been a case of drifting here and there, playing where needed and usually playing quite well. Why in 2004, he was with three different clubs, playing six different positions. And this season isn't one month old and he's already with his second team.

You should note that said team is Las Vegas for he's pushed his way up to AAA and that his average is currently .412 which shows that he tends to make the most of his opportunities. For while he's reluctant to concede that he's a utilityman, he well knows his ability to produce just about everywhere is what makes him so much in demand.

Sergio's hardly a big man at 5-9 but he has risen to every occasion. Thus it is that while more touted players have fallen by the wayside, he's proved to be a good guy to have around. He got into 80 games for Jacksonville last year and that was the team everybody called the best in the minors. Most of those players are with him at Vegas, trying to earn like honors for this team.

If that comes- and it just might- then they'll sing the praises of a good many others that you hear a lot about. But don't forget the name of Sergio Garcia, please. He's more than earned his day in the sunlight.