On Tuesday afternoon, the Braves announced that they are calling up top prospect Ozzie Albies, a native of Curacao whose full name is Ozhaino Jurdy Jiandro Albies and who will, once he joins Atlanta's roster, become the youngest active player in the majors at 20 years and 206 days, displacing the Red Sox' Rafael Devers, who is 20 years and 281 days old. Albies is also the first MLB player who was born in the year 1997; his birthday is Jan. 7, which is the same day The Spice Girls released "Wannabe." Long story short: He is very, very young.
As is the case with the callup of any prospect, this news exists mostly to make you feel old. The league inexorably gets younger as its fans get older. The stars of your youth are long-dimmed; the men who replaced them, once fresh-faced teenagers, are now graying. Albies is but the herald of a new generation; by 2020 or '21, we are virtually guaranteed to get our first ever MLB player born in or after the year 2000. Of the 180 major leaguers who debuted in 1997, meanwhile, only one is left. Nothing awaits us but dust.
With that in mind, let's quantify just how recent 1997 was with this partial list of things that happened that year, in which an active major leaguer was born.
• Jan. 2: Heisman Trophy winner Danny Wuerffel leads the Florida Gators to the national championship by beating the Florida State Seminoles in the Sugar Bowl.
• Jan. 20: Bill Clinton is sworn in for his second term as President of the United States.
• Jan. 26: Brett Favre and the Packers beat Drew Bledsoe and the Patriots in Super Bowl XXXI.
• March 24: The English Patient wins the Oscar for Best Picture at the 69th Academy Awards.
• March 31: Teletubbies debuts on BBC 2.
• April 1: Pokemon debuts on TV Tokyo.
• April 4: Bartolo Colon makes his major league debut for the Indians.
• April 13: Tiger Woods wins his first major, taking first place at the Masters by 12 strokes and becoming the tournament's youngest ever champion in the process.
• April 15: Hanson releases "MMMBop".
• May 2: Tony Blair becomes Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
• June 12: Commissioner Bud Selig introduces interleague play to Major League Baseball.
• June 13: Steve Kerr hits the game-winning shot of Game 6 of the NBA Finals to help Michael Jordan and the Bulls win their second straight championship.
• June 16: Radiohead releases OK Computer.
• June 26: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is published in England.
• June 28: Mike Tyson bites off a piece of Evander Holyfield's ear in the third round of their heavyweight title fight.
• July 1: Hong Kong is given to the People's Republic of China by the United Kingdom.
• July 31: The Athletics trade Mark McGwire to the Cardinals.
• Aug. 13: South Park debuts on Comedy Central.
• Aug. 29: Netflix is founded.
• Sept. 2: David Ortiz makes his major league debut for the Twins.
• Sept. 21: Future Hall of Famer Ryne Sandberg plays his final major league game.
• Oct. 26: The Marlins beat the Indians in the World Series in a come-from-behind Game 7 win.
• Nov. 6: The Brewers switch leagues, moving from the AL Central to the NL Central.
• Nov. 9: Bret Hart is robbed of his WWF title by Shawn Michaels and Vince McMahon in the "Montreal Screwjob" at Survivor Series.
• Nov. 18: The expansion draft for the new Diamondbacks and Rays franchises is held; with the No. 1 pick, Tampa Bay selects Tony Saunders.
• Nov. 25: Will Smith releases his debut solo album, Big Willie Style.
• Dec. 19: Titanic is released in theaters.
We are all old and withered.