I never want to forget the Chris Sabo that drove a Ford Escort with 200,000 miles on the odometer. I always pictured Sabo, one of my childhood heroes, as a guy who wore Lee jeans, drank Big K because he could get it for 49¢ a bottle at Kmart and buried cash in his backyard. I picture Sabo wearing a fanny pack in 1988. The guy was playing third base in the wrong era. He was supposed to be playing baseball in the mid-50s to early 60s. Little League kids from Cincinnati, Dayton and possibly even Columbus wanted to ruin a jersey with grass stains and caked blood because that’s how Sabo played.
His hair reminded our parents of Pete Rose. Sabo busted his ass; kids now days would call him Aaron Craft.
And then, this afternoon, I came across a photo of Sabo in Cincinnati for a weekend game wearing a white belt. I couldn’t believe my eyes. That’s not the Lee jeans wearing Sabo I remember. What the hell happened to my guy who wouldn’t buy a new car because his Escort was just fine and he didn’t need anything flashy?
A WHITE BELT?
What’s going on Sabo? Mid-life crisis?
This is the Sabo I remember. The guy who didn’t mind wearing the Rec Specs when contacts were becoming the norm.
Hopefully this white belt thing was just a one-time deal and his wife told him to never wear it again. Let’s hope. Let’s hope that all the conceptions we had of Sabo weren’t just thrown out the window by a white belt. Guys like Chris Sabo were never meant to wear a white belt. The lazy cheaters like Canseco were the guys wearing the white belts (sure, Sabo was suspended 7 games for using a corked bat, but it was a teammates’ bat).
White belts didn’t play like this:
Getty image/Jonathan Daniel