Chris Sabo in 2005
January 19, 1962 |
|Batted: Right||Threw: Right|
|April 4, 1988 for the Cincinnati Reds|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 2, 1996 for the Cincinnati Reds|
|Runs batted in||426|
|Career highlights and awards|
Christopher Andrew (Chris) Sabo (born January 19, 1962, in Detroit, Michigan) is a former third baseman in Major League Baseball who played for the Cincinnati Reds (1988–93, 1996), Baltimore Orioles (1994), Chicago White Sox (1995) and St. Louis Cardinals (1995). At 6'0" and 180 lb (82 kg), he batted and threw right-handed. He attended Detroit Catholic Central High School.
He was originally drafted by the Montreal Expos in 1980 but did not sign, opting to attend the University of Michigan. He was selected by the Cincinnati Reds in the 2nd round of the 1983 amateur draft. Sabo also played hockey as a goaltender, and played one game in the Ontario Junior Hockey League for the Niagara Falls Flyers in the 1979-80 season, before devoting himself to baseball and enrolling in college.
Sabo was an unknown, having toiled in the minor leagues for several seasons. But in 1988, Buddy Bell started the season on the disabled list and the Reds needed a third baseman. Sabo stepped in and won the National League Rookie of the Year Award with a .271 average and 46 steals.
After a forgettable 1989 campaign, Sabo returned to help lead the Reds to a World Series Championship. He had his most productive season in 1991, posting career-highs in batting average (.301), home runs (26), RBI (88), hits (175) and games played (153).
Baltimore signed him in 1994 where he endured another injury-plagued season and then split 1995 between Chicago and St. Louis.
His final season was in Cincinnati in 1996. His homecoming did not go as well as he had hoped. In July of that season, Sabo shattered his bat which was filled with cork. As a result of the incident, Sabo received a seven-game suspension.
Sabo maintains that he had never corked a bat in his life. He claimed that the bat in question belonged to another player (whom he would not name). He argued that his performance that season (3HR in 52 games) was hardly "an endorsement of the cork industry."
In a nine-season career, Sabo was a .268 hitter with 116 home runs and 426 RBI in 911 games.
Reds manager Pete Rose gave Sabo the nickname "Spuds" during his rookie season in 1988, citing a resemblance to a bull terrier character in Bud Light commercials named Spuds MacKenzie. Sabo was recognizable by his wraparound protective eyeglasses commonly known as Rec Specs.
Sabo was inducted in the Cincinnati Reds Hall Of Fame, along with Pedro Borbón and Tony Mullane on July 17, 2010. The Cincinnati Reds gave away Chris Sabo bobblehead dolls to fans in attendance that evening.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube
|Topps Rookie All-Star Third Baseman