Sprague didn’t play baseball in school, but scouts discovered him in the army in Germany. The hard-throwing, 6’4″ pitcher was signed by St. Louis and debuted with the A’s as a reliever in 1968, his third pro season. He had compiled a career-best 7-2 record with Milwaukee in 1974, when, on July 19, he twisted knee ligaments on Comiskey Park‘s short-lived Astroturf infield and missed the rest of the season. Sprague became the owner of the Stockton franchise and his wife the owner of Lodi in the California League. Their son, Stanford third baseman Ed Sprague, was the Blue Jays’ first pick in the June 1988 draft.