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.
I was fiddlin’ around with my colored pencils again last night, and Brandon Phillips became the subject of a 1938 Goudey “Heads Up” card.
Stellar pitching performance last night by Reds ace Johnny Cueto. Cueto has struck out 38 batters and walked only five in five starts. His ERA actually went up to 1.95 after allowing two Brewers to cross the plate, but the offense was awake enough to score more and get #47 the victory.
I started a new job last night. Actually, I’m still doing the same job I have done for the past six years, just in a new location.
With new rules.
One of those new rules is: no internet. Yes, the resume is in the process of revision, and a LinkedIn profile has been created.
However, I actually found the twelve hours (yes, I work twelve long hours in a shift) without internet rather…stimulating? Without the distractions of Facebook, Mindjolt, Netflix, and YouTube, I was able to read an entire book and start on a second one. Reviews of Graphic Horror: Movie Monster Memories and Real Wolfmen: True Encounters in Modern America should be appearing on TWJ by the end of the week, and I have several baseball and writing books in the queue.
When 5:30 a.m. hit, I was just finishing up a chapter in Real Wolfmen, and didn’t want to start another without the time to finish it. So I put the book away, took out my notebook and pen, and started scribbling. The result, while not what I initially envisioned, pleased me:
I’m not sure if I will continue scribbling. I am sure that I will never reach dayf status. But it’s fun…and that’s all that really matters, right?
At least that’s what I keep telling myself.
Chris Sabo was an All-Star three times for the Reds: in his rookie season of 1988, in the Championship season of 1990, and finally in 1991. I don’t recall when this “card” was created, but I’m guessing 1988. I may be wrong, though. It could be a 1990 card. I didn’t date all of my sketches, so historical accuracy is an impossibility in some cases.
I have scanned several of my old sketches and will be displaying them for the next week and a half. Feel free to snicker under your breath and keep in mind that I was a young teenager when most of these were made. In some cases, they are “cards that should have been,” like a 1989 Topps Jeff Branson “First Draft Pick” or a 1985 Topps Ramon Martinez “Dominican Republic Olympic” card. There are others, like the above, that are original designs. I also have a few sketches that are not in the style of any card design.
I hope you enjoy. Who knows, maybe I’ll break out the pencils and index cards again.