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Sabo wasn’t alone in his rec specs

July 19, 2010
John Franco in his racquetball goggles - 1988 Topps No. 730

John Franco in his racquetball goggles - 1988 Topps No. 730

With this crew cut, Ford Escort and rec specs, Chris Sabo was an anomaly within the world of professional athletes. However a lone baseball card from the 1988 Topps set potentially shows that he was not along in sporting rec specs within the Reds’ organization.

Closer John Franco was photographed relaxing against a chain link fence wearing spectacles during the club’s 1987 spring training.

But did Franco legitimately wear the goggles or was he messing with the young Sabo?

Franco never appeared to wear glasses or goggles throughout his 21 seasons with the Reds and the New York Mets. An internet search of news articles, baseball cards and images did not reveal any additional traces of a bespectacled Franco.

Franco’s mischievous smile suggests that there may be more to the story. Perhaps Franco donned the racquetball goggles to play a prank on Sabo.

There are bits on information, that the two Reds were familiar with each other. During the 1988 season, the lockers of Franco and Sabo bordered each other in the Riverfront Stadium clubhouse, according to a The New York Times article.

My guess is Franco donned the goggles to tease the young third baseman.

What do you think?

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