Friday, December 16, 2016

Craig Sager

I don't usually post in the middle of the night, but this is the first time I've been at my computer since yesterday morning.

Craig Sager lost his battle with cancer yesterday, December 15th. I don't think I can add anything that hasn't been said already, but I thought he should get a remembrance on the blogosphere.

Sager was an inspiration, working the NBA Finals while at the same time receiving Chemo for his very rare form of cancer. Just last week he was inducted into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame, a well deserved honor. As some of you may know/remember, I lost my dad to cancer when I was 17 so it always pains me to hear of it claiming someone else. He is the 5th member of the NBA family it has claimed in 2016 alone, that I know of. (Dwayne "Pearl" Washington, Brooks Thompson, Nate Thurmond, Greg Ballard) There are more who I do not know cause of death on.

He has only 5 cards extant, and only one of them is easy to's also the only one in my collection.
This card, his only truly easy one to find, is from 2016 Topps Baseball's First Pitch insert. He got the chance to throw out the first pitch at the Cubs game on the date listed, and being that he is from the Chicago area and grew up a Cubs fan, I'm sure glad he held on long enough to see them win the World Series this year.

His other cards come from the two years of the Hoops Announcers promo cards. These were done in 1989-90 and 1990-91, using the same design as the standard Hoops cards, but the only way to get them was from the announcers themselves. They are not serially numbered or anything like that, but they might as well be, as you can pick up 1 of 1s of many players for less than what you will pay for any of the Announcers cards, IF you can even find them. I've been in the hobby for more than 20 years now and I've never even seen a single one in person.
His next card came out in the 2014-15 Panini Threads Announcers set, which was a great concept but hard to find. They are all autographed and his card is SN to 499 copies.
His final card is a rare relic parallel of the First Pitch insert, which is SN to 25 and features a piece of a ticket stub from the game held June 1st of this year. The front of that card is scanned onto the Trading Card Database.

Although I've not seen a scan of the Announcers autographs card, it's a shame that his trademark flamboyant, usually multi-colored suits are not represented on any of the cards I have seen. His early Hoops promos are in more traditional suits, and both First Pitch cards use this same photo.

The TNT broadcasts tonight were totally devoted to him, which was something I've never seen them do before...not a single basketball highlight made the highlight show, and that's not a complaint. It was a fine tribute to a man everyone loved.


  1. I was sad to hear he lost his fight. It was nice to see all the tributes. Gregg Popovich had a lot of nice things to say.

    1. I worked for Turner sports at that time. Craig walked in my office and gave me two. I put them away in a book. When I heard about his death, I got them out. Brought tears to my eyes

    2. Pop really loved him like a brother. He had to have a tough time with it.

      Unknown, very cool that you got them!

  2. ESPN also led off Sportscenter last night with tributes to him. Well done.

  3. Nice post. His passing is a loss to basketball.