Rookie tradition returns

The pink backpacks are  back.

Rookie relievers Chris Jakubauskas and Shawn Kelley are toting them around, keeping them filled with snacks and things.

Kelley said he keeps his backpack filled with healthy foods, while Jakubauskas has a backpack full of candy or other high-sugar snacks.

The pink backpacks have become something of a tradition, starting several years ago, I believe, when cluhouse prankster Eddie Guardado was around.

Speaking of Kelley and Jakubauskas, they have changed numbers. Jak, who was No. 71 during Spring Training, is now wearing No. 41. “It worked well for Tom Seaver”, he said.

Kelley, No. 66 in camp, now has No. 23 on the back of his jersey.

“They wouldn’t give me No. 24,” he said, smiling.

I didn’t have the heart to tell him No. 23 was worn a few years ago by Scott Speizio.

— Jim Street

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