Sunday, January 7, 2018

2017 Sportlots purchases: listen all y'all, it's a Sabo-tage

Image result for sabotage beastie boys
For today's post let's go with another Reds fan favorite: Chris Sabo, the 3B nicknamed "Spuds" who was the National League's Rookie of the Year in 1988 and was a World Series champ in 1990.

Spuds is another of my supercollections and as with others like Hal Morris, I had a ton of luck attacking his wantlist thanks to Sportlots:
We'll start with 1988 when Sabo was named NL ROY.  Future HOFer Roberto Alomar placed a distant fifth in that voting despite a fairly similar season, oddly enough.

The first five cards in this scan are from that year and they include issues from Donruss and Fleer boxed sets, pre-RCs from Fleer and Score update sets, and a Glossy parallel of the Fleer card.

Then '89 opens with an oddball Bazooka product produced by Topps along with more Donruss and Fleer boxed set cards.
This scan will take us through the rest of 1989.  As in several of my other Sportlots posts there's still more boxed set stuff, especially thanks to Score and Fleer being so prolific late in the decade.  Speaking of the latter I grabbed both of Sabo's Glossy parallels of the flagship set.  An exciting appearance by Sportflics is joined by one other base card in Chris' '89 Topps RC.  Seriously, I didn't have one!  Finally, a Topps Glossy Send-In and oddball Toys 'R' Us issue close the book on that year.
Here we start with a quick romp through 1990:  base cards from Leaf and Topps (again, seriously) and Topps' Tiffany parallel.  Then we start a ten-card run through '91 with a trio from Donruss, plus Fleer, O-Pee-Chee, and one of two Score flagship appearances.
We'll close out '91 in style by starting with Sabo's other Score appearance:  a World Series card that includes fellow Wolverine Barry Larkin flipping his lid.  That's joined by another Score boxed set, Topps Tiffany, and a checklist from Upper Deck.

1992 Begins with Bowman and Donruss, gets interesting with a Fleer Team Leaders insert, then returns to status quo with Leaf and O-Pee-Chee Premier.
Let's finish off '92 with base cards from Studio and Upper Deck, plus UD's stupid Gold Hologram parallel.  I'm a supercollector so I have to pick those up!

Things start to get kind of interesting again with some of the '93 stuff.  Donruss, Fleer, and O-Pee-Chee are fairly pedestrian but the year gets boosted by Flair, Stadium Club (Members Only Parallel) and the much-improved Studio.
A '93 Topps Gold parallel finishes up '93 before we get into 1994 and Sabo's Orioles tenure, which ended up lasting just one season.  Bowman and Collector's Choice base cards lead off alphabetically, and I also picked up the latter's Gold and Silver Signature parallels; it's always nice to knock off the rarer Gold versions.  Those are joined by an even better version of Flair, one of my favorite Leaf designs, a much better effort from OPC, and the start of a nice run of designs for Pinnacle.
This group completes the year of cardboard in '94, and you can tell we're going alphabetically, not chronologically, because there's some Reds outliers here.  One of those is from Score, though the company updated his team in its Rookie/Traded product.  Stadium Club's base set (and its Members Only Parallel) showed him with Baltimore while its Team card, while listing him as an Oriole, still had a shot of him in his Reds uni.  Finally, his Topps Gold parallel also had him with the Reds, though that's not a huge shock since its flagship product can arrive before players switch teams.
This scan--the last with vertically-oriented cards--shows Sabo with three of his four career teams.  Three '95 cards--Fleer, Score Gold Rush, and Topps Cyberstats--end his Orioles run, and that year's Leaf documents his short (20 games) tenure with the South Side Sox.  I did a quick Beckett search and came up with just four products in which Chris appears with Chicago including Leaf above, Fleer Update (which I already have), Upper Deck (which you'll see below), and UD's Special Edition.  I'll also note that while Sabo appeared in just five games with the Cardinals during that same '95 season, he never appeared on cardboard as a member of that team.

Chris' final MLB season was 1996 and fortunately for me he could be found on Fleer's outstanding matte design from that year (as well as Ultra).  I also snagged one of his much more recent cardboard appearances, 2015 Stadium Club.  See?  Topps can do good things, they're just not in the practice of doing them regularly.
This second-to-last scan is just cards aligned horizontally, the way your cell phone videos should be most of the time if you're not an idiot.
Image result for vertical video gif
Anyway, we have a nice assortment here, starting with a '91 Fleer World Series subset (not quite as cool as Score's), plus '92 OPC and Topps Gold.  Then 1994 is once again represented by Score's Select and Upper Deck (plus its not-that-great Electric Diamond parallel).  1995's Collector's Choice and its Gold Signature parallel--another one I'm glad to check off--finish us up here.
And here's today's final scan, which opens with the final two mainstream horizontal cards:  '95 Upper Deck and another Electric Diamond parallel.

The we go all the way back to the beginning with 1988 and '89 Topps Big, plus a miniature '89 Topps Leaders.  Those are followed by two '89 Panini Stickers, as well as Topps Stickers from the same year, one of which Sabo shares with AL counterpart Wade Boggs.  Last and definitely least (in terms of size), I grabbed Sabos Topps Micro issues from 1991-93.

All told this added a very nice 86 items to my Sabo collection and put me at 147/210 (70%) of his checklist, a great boost.

If that's not enough Sportlots action for you this evening, please head over to TMM for a nice little after dinner mint of a football post.  Either way, I'll send you off with a song:


  1. Great cards and congrats on the big increase in checklist completion! I didn't realize he was a pretty good hockey player and golfer.

    1. Thanks! I didn't realize that either, though of course hockey is huge up here.

  2. I love sport lots. Haven't bought from it yet but so cheap. So many hamptons lol

    I will have 2 keep these players names in mind

    1. Sportlots is awesome, especially if you're willing to put in the time to optimize cards and shipping per seller. The interface could be a lot better, but man has it filled in holes in my collection very cheaply at times.

  3. Love the Beastie Boys! My favorite group of all-time. Did you go with them because Sabo reminds you of Ad-Rock?

    1. I'm ashamed to say that didn't cross my mind--I started with the play on Sabo's name and went from there!

    2. Lol. Damn. I'm slow. Not sure how I missed that.