44 is definitely the number of fan favorites.
Brian Scalabrine, forward, Celtics. Usually, it is only players like Kobe and Lebron who hear roars from the crowd just for touching the ball, but not in Boston. Scal gets a standing ovation every time he drains a trey and is one of the most likable guys playing sports in Boston.
Jason Bay, outfielder, Red Sox. Bay has been far exceeded expectations since joining the Sox and has made a name for himself other than 'the guy who replaced Manny.' Bay is leading the club in homers and RBIs, and is leading A.L. outfielders in All-Star voting.
Aaron Ward, defenseman, Bruins. Ward is an excellent defenseman for the Bruins, and earned a few starts opposite Chara. At 36, he is one of the veteran leaders on a team powered by young stars.
Eric Kettani, running back, Patriots. I almost left him off because he is also unlikely to make the squad this year, but he does wear number 44, and that is enough to get him in the conversation. A rookie from Army, he likely does not have to get used to the feel of the jersey.