As the baseball postseason gets in full-swing, it makes me think of a time when I really cared about what teams were playing and which players were involved. Even though I’m still a fan of baseball, it doesn’t have the same magic as it did when I was kid. Trading baseball cards, pretending to be your favorite player in the backyard, naming the entire ’91 Pirates outfield in a matter of seconds (Bonds, Bonilla, VanSlyke… beat ya). Those were the days and apparently the building blocks of a lifetime of useless knowledge. It really helps me at work to know that Jeff Blauser was a critical part of the Braves success in the early 90s. Think about your favorite players from your childhood. For me it was Ryne Sandberg, Andy VanSlyke and Chris Sabo. How awesome were Sabo’s goggles by the way? He was like the Horace Grant of baseball…except much better.
The great thing about baseball is that every generation has their own Sabos and Sandbergs. The generations before me had Mays, Koufax, Musial, and the Mick. I’ve heard many folks older than me reminisce about how great those players were in their time, and I’m sure kids today think the Pedroias, Lincecums and Pujols are just as great. (Sidebar – I’m really convinced Pujols is a machine like the ESPN commercial…he is ridiculously good and he has the personality of a coffee maker) I can’t argue with them but I’m just not buying into it. Give me Bret Saberhagen’s sidearm, Ozzie Smith’s backflip and Don Mattingly’s pornstache anyday.
I wonder what Chris Sabo is doing now? I’d like to think that whatever he’s doing, it requires him to wear those goggles…and a Viking helmet…cause they’re pretty sweet too.