Esasky replaced Johnny Bench at third base for the Reds in 1983 and made the Topps all-rookie team with a .265 average and 12 HR. The strikeout-prone slugger was converted to first base full-time in 1987, and was traded to Boston with Rob Murphy for Todd Benzinger and Jeff Sellers before the 1989 season.
Aiming dead at Fenway Park’s Green Monster in his first season with the Red Sox, Esasky set career highs with a .277 average, 30 homers and 117 RBIs. The breakout season spurred heavy interest in the free-agent market, and Esasky — who lived in Georgia — eventually inked a three-year contract with the Braves worth $5.6 million.
As it turned out, the money was eventually paid by an insurance company. Soon after Opening Day, Esasky developed an inner ear infection that caused vertigo and the debilitating dizziness that followed quickly removed him from the starting lineup. His ninth game with the Braves — on April 21, 1990 — was his last in the major leagues.