Ex-A's 2B Eric Sogard brings 'nerd power' back to Oakland in Jays return originally appeared on nbcsportsbayarea.com
OAKLAND – Back in 2010, Eric Sogard introduced Oakland to "nerd power."
Now, nearly a decade later, he's back at the Coliseum as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays.
"It's special," Sogard told NBC Sports California. "Obviously, I spent the first six years of my big-league career up here. A lot of great memories to go with it. Great place all-around. Love the fans. It's nice to be back here."
A's manager Bob Melvin was happy to see his former second baseman.
"Just a great guy," Melvin said. "Everybody loved Sogi when he was here. It's always nice to see those guys again and I'm glad he is getting an opportunity again because he definitely still has something to offer."
The bespectacled second baseman played his first six seasons with the A's, quickly becoming a fan-favorite at the Coliseum. Now 33 years old, Sogard signed a minor-league contract with Toronto this offseason and was called up for the first time earlier this week. Through four games, he is 7-for-16 with two doubles and four RBI.
"We've seen Sogi get really hot," Melvin said. "He goes through these streaks and it looks like he's in one of them right now. I know he was six for his first 12, got a hit and knocked in a run last night, and made a really good defensive play last night. When he's playing well, he can be a pretty impactful player, as we saw in his days here with us."
Toronto is making the most of Sogard's impact by continuing to bat him in the leadoff spot.
"I'm just happy to be here again continuing to play the game and help my team in any way I can," Sogard said.
It's been a bit of a rough stretch for Sogard the past year and a half. After putting together a career-year with the Brewers in 2017, where he slashed .273/.393/.378, he struggled with injuries and performance last season, ultimately getting released.
"I went and had probably the best year of my career followed by my worst," Sogard said. "That's part of this game. You get ups and downs. You've just got to stay persistent, keep battling and stay after it, and good things will come."
Sogard still remembers his time in Oakland vividly. He cherishes the team's playoff runs in 2012, 2013, and 2014, and of course, the Coliseum fans.
"Obviously the right field fans are out there no matter what time the game is at, every game," Sogard smiled. "Just some of the playoff runs we had here when we'd open up the top and sell it out, how loud this place got was really a neat environment to play in."
"Hopefully he lines out a few times and makes some outs (this weekend), but he's a good kid," Melvin said. "It's always good to see some of the good people who were here in the past and he's definitely one of those guys."