I was thinking about Mark Kotsay recently because I can't remember a player in recent history who I've enjoyed watching as much. It's mostly because he makes everything look Shaft-smooth playing center field. I say this cat Kotsay is one bad <shuts my mouth>.
It's probably partially because I watched Terrence Long patrol the center field for one too many games. But it got me to thinking, I can't picture Kotsay in another team's uniform. To me, he was always meant to be an Oakland Athletic and always will be, no matter what happens. I do plan on getting a Kotsay interview at some point.
It's rare that a player take on that pantheon in a fan's mind, especially once they've spent a good deal of time in other team's uniforms.
There are only several players in my life I feel this way about. Dennis Eckersley is a perfect example. He was an Indian and a Red Sox player. Yet in my mind, I can only see him as an Oakland Athletic. I'd say Rickey Henderson, but there's no question that his legend is etched in green and gold since his career started there. Jose Canseco was headed in that direction until he turned into Sideshow Bob. Yankee fans feel that same way about Reggie Jackson, despite his career in three other unis including the three championships in green and gold. Red Sox fans feel that way about David Ortiz despite his Twins tenure.
As for other sports, Scott Stevens spent a good portion of his career not wearing New Jersey Devils red, yet I can't (or won't) picture him in any other uniform but the red and black. Brett Favre was born to be a Packer in many cheeseheads minds despite his career start in Atlanta.
I imagine many of you feel that way about Miguel Tejada and some could possibly even feel that way about Jason Giambi. I actually still have a hard time seeing Ramon Hernandez in Padres and Orioles colors despite the fact that it cost Hernandez in order to get Kotsay. I know people don't universally feel that way about Kots and that I'm probably on my own with it, but I was wondering what players you will always see in green and gold no matter what colors they go on to wear. Is Zito one of them? Tim Hudson? Eric Byrnes (probably a certain poster that sounds like BoorshName22)? Who are those players who will forever be in green and gold to you no matter where there go or where they've gone?