Nick Esasky

1991 Topps #418 Nick Esasky Front
Alfred Hitchcock's Nick Esasky.

Why we like him: Nick Esasky signed a 3-year deal with the Atlanta Braves in 1990 that was considered "lucrative" at the time because Esasky was going to earn just under $2 million per year. Those were the days. It even seemed like pretty semi-smart money on Atlanta's part at the time as well. He was a 29-year old first baseman with some pretty good pop, and he was coming off a .277-30-108 season for the Red Sox. Not too shabby, but not quite enough to make you dizzy (more on that in a second). Before that, he turned in a few decent seasons with the Reds. I even remember hearing the buzz about this guy when I was a kid.

All that made me wonder what was up when he disappeared so abruptly. The truth is that Esasky, weirdly enough, was diagnosed with vertigo, and only managed to play 9 games for the Braves in 1990 (.171 with no homers, mind you) before calling it quits for good. The Braves continued to pay him for two more years just to fulfill the contract, but I'll always remember Nick Esasky as a Braves star who wasn't.

Ladies and gentlemen, Nick Esasky, ballplayer.

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