Looking back, but mostly ahead:
All things considered, 1993 was a good year for baseball. It brought expansion, along with the expected higher batting averages and ERAs, and avoided a strike or lockout.
And it concluded with one of the most exciting finishes in World Series history, with apologies to Mitch Williams, the ringmaster of excitement.
But, of all the memorable happenings, the one that stands out for this observer didn't take place on the field. Instead, it happened in the dugout after the Philadelphia Phillies beat the Atlanta Braves to win the National League pennant.
With his team celebrating a near-miraculous triumph, manager Jim Fregosi stood alone in the dugout, surveying the wild scene on the field. It was almost as if he didn't want to intrude.
As a player, and in his early years as a manager, Fregosi could have been described, most politely, as unconventional. And he could celebrate with the best of them.
But, in perhaps the finest moment of his career, he stepped aside. He wouldn't infringe on his players, preferring to let them stand alone in the spotlight.
However, the look on Fregosi's face as he watched spoke volumes. His celebration was going on in his mind -- and the sight of him standing alone, motionless and without expression, is still vivid.
Now, it's time to hope for more in 1994. With apologies to those who didn't make the final cut, here's a list of things we'd like to see happen in the coming year for some of our favorite people in the baseball world:
* Peter Angelos -- A season without even one rainout (which the Orioles have had each of their two years at Camden Yards), to help pay the bills.
* Johnny Oates -- One more starter -- and a healthy finisher.
* Roland Hemond, Frank Robinson and Doug Melvin -- A successful troika.
* Orlando Cepeda -- Overdue recognition at Cooperstown.
* Bud Selig -- A commissioner.
* Steve Palermo -- Another step closer to home.
* Fernando Valenzuela -- One more chance, somewhere.
* Mike Mussina -- A season to make everyone forget the scuffle.
* Ben McDonald -- A coming-out party.
* Harry Dalton -- A job to use a brilliant and innovative mind.
* Leon Day -- One more vote from the Veterans Committee.
* Earl Weaver -- More consideration from the Veterans Committee.
* Curt Schilling -- A closer he can trust.
* Mitch Williams -- A fresh start in the Astrodome.
David Segui -- A team with a position he can call his own.
* Joe Carter -- Just keep on swinging . . . and smiling.
* Don Fehr/Mark Belanger -- An agreement.
* Rick Vaughn -- Announcements at noon instead of the rush hour.
* Gregg Olson -- A complete recovery.
* Al Bumbry -- Back where he belongs.
* Cal Ripken Jr. -- 162 more, what else?
* Cal Ripken Sr. -- One more reunion.
* Bill Ripken -- No more trips to the disabled list.
* Mark McLemore -- All the incentives and a multiyear contract.
* Rick Sutcliffe -- A chance to be a spot starter.
* Glenn Davis -- A comeback.
Rene Gonzales -- A return trip.
* Cito Gaston -- A truce with the sometimes-unforgiving Baltimore fans.
* Lou Piniella -- A division title.
* John Olerud -- Don't change a thing.
* Don Baylor -- More players like their manager.
* George Steinbrenner -- Continued silence.
* Gene Michael/Buck Showalter -- See above.
* Brady Anderson/Mike Devereaux -- Another 1-2 year.
* Paul Molitor -- Continuation of a class act.
* Sam Perlozzo -- A big-league managing job.
* Chuck Thompson -- Keep those pipes warbling.
* Sam Horn -- More shots at the warehouse.
* Bob Miller -- A baseball card to call his own.
* Sparky Anderson -- Enough quotes to fill a notebook (again).
* Larry Lucchino -- A new team or stadium to help build -- or a shot as guest columnist.
* Dick Bosman -- A 200-inning foursome.
* Lisa Waskiewicz -- A 40-hour week.
* Dennis Martinez -- A 20-win season to go with 200 career victories.
* Calvin Hill -- A lottery pick.
* Rex Barney -- A "thank youuuu" to you, too.
Brad Pennington -- A bigger
* Alan Trammell -- A step closer to the Hall of Fame.
* Robin Yount -- Ditto.
* Harold Baines -- New knees, same swing.
* Cecil Fielder -- 40-plus -- again.
* Eddie Murray -- A "welcome home" party May 6.
* Ken Rosenthal/Mike Littwin -- Co-chairmen for the above.
L * Rafael Palmeiro -- An early introduction to the Tall Wall.
* John Schuerholz -- A World Series homecoming.
* Richie Bancells/Jamie Reed -- More fishing, fewer injuries.
* Harold Reynolds -- The Roberto Clemente Award.
* Sid Fernandez -- Finally, a chance to see defense in action.
* Arthur Rhodes -- The patience a 23-year-old needs and deserves.
* Mark Williamson -- Another opportunity.
* Fred Uhlman Jr. -- More recognition.
* Davey Johnson -- Sound investments.
* Ken Griffey Jr. -- Continued good health. The rest comes naturally.
* Barry Bonds -- The same.
* Jim Leyland/Ray Miller -- A return to the top.
* John Kruk -- A svelte look and fat batting average.
* Elrod Hendricks -- A plaque -- where else? -- in the bullpen.
* Debbie Bent -- An answering service.
* Debbie Dickman -- Computerized contracts.
* Phil Farace -- All the joys of getting away from the traffic.
* Len Dykstra -- A bib.
* Gary Sheffield -- The DH rule for the National League.
* Joe McIlvaine/John Barr -- Better luck the second time around.
Dallas Green -- Help.
* Walter Youse -- One more phenom.
* Jimmy/Fred Tyler -- A spring training site to call home.
* Ernie Tyler -- A substitute for Delaware River mud.
* The Phillie Phanatic -- The first inductee into the mascot Hall of Fame.
4 And to all -- a good year. Let's get on with it.