Heathcliff Slocumb, Amaury Telemaco, Scott Sanderson. What do these three former Chicago Cubs have in common? They were all favorites of mine growing up as a Cubs fan.
For Slocumb and Telemaco it was easy. Those were great names. Why Scott Sanderson? He had a long career in Major League Baseball and was a top pitcher for the 1984 Cubs. While other 8-year olds were devoting fandom to Ryne Sandberg and Mark Grace, I pledged allegiance to Scott Sanderson.
That was my fan quirk. Rarely did I root for the superstars. I liked the underdogs. In fact, in junior high I earned the nickname “jersey boy,” for my affinity for wearing basketball and football jerseys to school on a daily basis. The names on the back were not Barry Sanders, Emmitt Smith, Michael Jordan, or Scottie Pippen like everyone else. They were Rashaan Salaam, Eddie Kennison, and Yinka Dare. Yes, Yinka Dare.
Back to Sanderson. Enter my adult life and annual trips to the Cubs Convention. At the 2017 Woody’s Winter Warmup I happened to look over my shoulder at the bar at Harry Caray’s. It was Scott Sanderson. Withholding my inner fanboy I introduced myself and had a quick conversation and photo opp. To me, meeting Scott Sanderson and having a quick chat trumped by interactions with Jason Heyward, Albert Almora, and Addison Russell.
At some point, a baseball card was most likely the source of my Sanderson fandom. Possibly the 1988 Score. It was my introduction to baseball cards and the large action stocks on bright cards drew me in. The Sanderson Score card is a great action photo.
Sanderson was also a part of the 1989 Topps set. I still remember waiting six to eight weeks for the Cubs team set to arrive in the mail. My mom had sent in several UPC codes from some manufacturer sponsoring the Topps team set giveaways.
As I receive more and more Cubs cards (hundreds by the day), I may start pulling all Sanderson’s, in addition to Ryne Sandberg, Javier Baez, Kris Bryant, and Rick Reuschel.
And speaking of incoming cards, if anyone has 1984 Jewel Cubs cards I am in need. Here’s the Scott Sanderson from that set.