Where do Chris Sabo's goggles rank among the best baseball specs of all-time?
Former Reds third baseman Chris Sabo turns 56 today, as good an excuse as any to celebrate the career of the three-time All-Star, 1988 National League Rookie of the Year Award winner and 1990 World Series champion. Alas, we have more important business to attend to.
You see, while Sabo put together a solid Major League career, he became something far greater off the diamond: a role model for bespectacled aspiring athletes everywhere, a man who could make even the most preposterously large pair of goggles look fly. To anyone who was ever forced to don a pair of Rec Specs in Little League, he was nothing short of a hero:
While Sabo is arguably the most prominent bespectacled ballplayer of all-time, he's certainly not the only one. Glasses of all shapes, sizes and materials have appeared in the big leagues -- and so, on this most hallowed day, we've assembled a complete taxonomy.
No such list would be complete without Will "Whoop-la" White, believed to be the first player in Major League history to wear glasses while playing:
Clint Courtney was the first catcher to wear glasses, but he wouldn't be the last. Here you can see Jason Phillips' awesome specs.
The Modern Sabo
While the clunky sports goggles of old are a rare sight in 2018, several players are wearing a sleeker variation of the look -- like, for example, Tyler Clippard:
While Joe may have gone to the Hall of Fame, he didn't wear glasses. So, really, who was more important: him or Dom?
The Facial Hair accessory
What's better? Dick Allen's specs or his fuzz? Why not both?
The Straight-up Glasses
Of course, plenty of players didn't even bother making a switch to a specialized pair -- they just brought their normal glasses onto the field. Styles range from a more professorial look, like Greg Maddux:
... to something a bit more stylish, like Eric Sogard:
The Rivers Cuomo
If you'd like to destroy Kelby Tomlinson's swe--uh, I mean glasses.
The Original Wild Thing
Before "Major League," there was another flame-throwing hurler with trouble controlling his pitches: Ryne Duren.
Because even Reggie Jackson's glasses were awesome:
Of course, the side-arming Tekulve belongs in this camp, too:
Have a personal favorite? Let us know in the comments.