Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Past meets present: Chris Sabo returns

Weekend photo gallery

Let me make one thing crystal clear here before we go any further. I am a Cubs fan -- for better or for worse, mostly worse -- lest you get the wrong idea from all the Reds data that has been posted as this blog has started out.

Marty Brennaman prepares to introduce Chris Sabo and Pedro Borbon
THAT BEING SAID, it's been cool to be back in Reds country where I grew up, and I have to admit it's good to see them playing so well -- since the Cubs apparently aren't going to challenge them. And I really got a kick out of this past weekend, during which the organization celebrated the 1990 World Series title.

Starting with Randy Myers and Norm Charlton -- two-thirds of the Nasty Boys -- along with Chris Sabo spending an entertaining few minutes during the series-opening television broadcast, to Sabo's Reds Hall of Fame induction, it's been a nostalgic weekend of reminiscing.

We went to the Reds-Rockies game on a stormy Saturday night to claim our coveted Sabo bobbleheads -- make no mistake, this promotion was marked on our calendar for weeks -- and watch as he, along with Pedro Borbon, were inducted. It was great to see "Spuds" again after all these years (even though he beat out Mark Grace for Rookie of the Year in 1988 -- we don't hold grudges here), his family and the buzz he created throughout the packed Great American Ball Park.

And his Sabo-esque speech certainly did not disappoint. The video I have from the game seems to be a bit large to run here, but MLB.com encapsulated the ceremony. I'll see about uploading the entire video later. Meantime, you'll have to settle for a brief clip of Sabo's ceremonial first pitch -- an "I don't want to be out here any longer than I absolutely have to" toss:

video

But capping the night was a brush with fate. Aaron was a huge Sabo fan growing up -- I was a big Paul O'Neill guy, and with the two being pals, we had a good time with it back then. There's an excellent article in the Cincinnati Enquirer, by the way, written by John Erardi this weekend, that sheds a little light on those two -- The Odd Couple -- during their Reds days.

Where's Chris Sabo?
So it felt a little more than coincidental to notice that Sabo made his way over toward where we were sitting and watched part of the game with some folks he knew, just a section away. As fans started to realize he was there, he started to get mobbed with autograph and photo requests while he was watching the game. It was a tantalizing opportunity to be that close and not drop by, and I played the devil on Aaron's shoulder to an extent, prompting him to go over -- "He's right there, man.. your childhood hero ... you can't be this close and not try and meet him..."

In other words, probably being a needling prick.

But Aaron wasn't biting. He didn't want to bother him while he was trying to watch the game, and he was content with the night as it was.

Later, Aaron got up to take a trip to the men's room, and lil' Sierra decided she would go with -- a key development. Because that prompted them to go to a family bathroom nearer to our section. To be honest, it crossed my mind to give Aaron my camera "just in case," but before I could, they were already gone and up the stairs.

And it is here that fate intervened.

Sure enough, whilst standing in line for the family loo, Mr. Sabo happened to be walking by, giving Aaron his golden opportunity after all to shake hands, say a few quick words, and settle for an admittedly grainy cell phone shot as Sabo waved and moved on.

It was a brief, but genuine, moment. He declared his night made, accompanied by the Reds' 8-1 victory, and didn't have to selfishly join the throngs of folks who were clamoring for the guy's attention to make it happen.

In other words: Just be cool and relax in situations like these. Because if it's meant to be ... it'll be.

1 comment:

A.M.Smith said...

A great night, man. I will remember that one for a while. Thanks for putting up the post. I'm hope the buzz can stay in Cincinnati for just a short while longer. I need to watch meaningful baseball in September and, dare I say, October.