4.30.2010

Bret Saberhagen, 1991 Upper Deck

Name: Bret "Slider" Saberhagen
Teams: Kansas City Royals, Top Gun Naval Flying School
Position: Ace, hotshot fighter pilot
Value of card: Three toothpicks
Key 1990 stat: Two engines, one need — a need for speed
The forgotten gun: Everyone who has seen the 1980s action classic "Top Gun" remembers Maverick, Iceman and Goose. But what about Slider? A risk taker. A rebel. A winner. No, not Tom Cruise's Maverick. That was Bret Saberhagen's Slider. Before director Tony Scott re-cut the film, Saberhagen was undoubtedly the star. He single-handedly beat Maverick and Goose on the beach volleyball court, and while everyone on the sand went shirtless, Slider went shirtless and shortless. In the skies, Slider was at home. He didn't wear an oxygen mask. Why? Because you can't chew on toothpicks when wearing one. He didn't have the standard military cut. Oh no. He had a flowing, golden mullet that was so thick he didn't have to wear a flying helmet. He had wings on his plane, wings on his bomber jacket and hair wings on the sides of his head. He was an aviator who wore aviators, a rebel who lived fast, played fast and flew fast. He was Slider, and when his performance was cut from "Top Gun," he took his need for speed to the diamond, and the sky was his limit.

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