Fun Cards: 1938 Goudey Chris Sabo and Todd Frazier (original artwork)
Todd Frazier might be my favorite active third baseman, but he has quite a bit of catching up to do if he wants to replace Chris Sabo at the top of my favorites list. In 1988, when I was in sixth grade, I interviewed Sabo (via telephone) for a school homework assignment. Mrs. Gracey wanted us to write about someone we admired, and most of the other kids chose their dads or grandpas. And it’s not that I don’t love my dad, I do! He instilled in me a love for baseball that, though it has waned from time to time, I still cherish. But I wanted to be different from the other kids, so I called the Reds’ general offices after school and asked to speak to the rookie third baseman.
The operator was very kind, took my name and number and the reason for my call. I hung up the phone and headed out back to shoot some hoops. Not much later, my mom started rapping on the kitchen window, motioning for me to come inside for a telephone call. I came in, and Chris Sabo was on the other end.
I asked him about his favorite team growing up (the Tigers), his favorite player (Al Kaline), and what kind of car he drove (Ford Escort). He was extremely polite, very humble, and even left two tickets for a game a couple of weeks out for my dad and I. We got to sit in the “blue seats” (the good seats back then) with other players’ wives and girlfriends. That was pretty cool.
So, Mr. Frazier, though I will vote for you every year for the All-Star Game, and I will call you my favorite current third baseman, unless you come over for dinner and drop a couple of All-Star tickets off, Mr. Sabo will remain at the top of my list.