Former Blue Jay third baseman Ed Sprague turns 45 today.
Sprague played for the Jays for 8 seasons, starting in 1991 and staying until he was traded to the A's on July 31st 1998. The Jays got Scott Rivette for him. Rivette never did make it to the majors.
Sprague hit .245/.315/.419 with 113 home runs and 418 RBI in 888 games as a Blue Jays.
He wasn't great, but like Kelly Gruber, who played third before him, Sprague had one really terrific season that was out of way his norm. But then he wasn't near as good defensively as Kelly. For Sprague it was 1996. He set career highs in runs (88), hits (146), homers (36), RBI (101), walks (60) and slugging average (.496). It ranks as one of the best seasons ever for a Jay third baseman. It would also be the winner of the ‘Which of these season's doesn't belong here' game when looking at Sprague's career. That was one of the seasons that Roger Clemen's "trainer" was hanging around with the Jays.
Ed admitted that he took steroids. He also admitted using amphetamines, which were pretty common in baseball at the time. Baseball is played every day some players often use something to fight the fatigue a long season can cause. They didn't have Red Bull back then. Amphetamines were banned by baseball in 2006.
Other than that one season, he wasn't very special, pretty average. He did make the All-Star game in 1999 as a Pirate when he hit .267/.352/.465 with 22 home runs. After that he bounced from San Diego to Boston back to San Diego and then to Seattle.
He played 11 seasons in the majors, had 152 home runs and a .247/.318/.419 line. A pretty decent career.
Happy birthday Ed. Hope it is a good one.