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Monday April 5, 2010 10:00 pm

Canada’s journeyman last spotted in San Diego




Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, MLB,

Matt StairsMatt Stairs will never retire from baseball. The 42-year old not only has yet to resort to riding out his career as an American League designated hitter, he’s also found a home in San Diego and will see time as both a first baseman and an outfielder. As a Canadian, it was hard enough for Stairs to find his way into the majors, but it seems that it’s been even harder to take him out of them.

Baseball’s major league equivalent of the journeyman, the seemingly immortal Stairs has certainly made his way around the big league circuit. He’s spent time in Montreal, Boston, Oakland, Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Texas, Detroit, Toronto, Philadelphia, and now San Diego. He played with the A’s from 1996-2000, but aside from them, he’s not spent as many as three full seasons with any other team. Not bad for a guy who made his major league debut almost twenty years ago.

In 1,761 career games, Stairs has compiled a career .264 average and .358 on-base percentage. His 259 home runs has him behind only Larry Walker on the all-time list of Canadian MLB players. His list of Canadian accomplishments doesn’t end there. He’s the second Canadian-born player to have a 35 home run season, as well as back-to-back 25 home run and 100 RBI seasons; all with Oakland. His 19 pinch-hit home runs not only leads all Canadians, but everybody else as well.

Stairs’ 12-team career is the most for any position player. However, it also begs the question if Stairs is holding on too long? We see this all the time from professional athletes, however, Stairs hasn’t faded like many other aging pros do. He was an integral part of the bench for Philadelphia’s World Series victory in 2008, and he added another five home runs off the bench, making the Phillies one of the greatest American League threats coming from the senior circuit. It seems as long as teams are willing to give Stairs a chance, he’ll keep producing. Even if he ever admits he’s finished playing, you can be sure he’ll be around the game for years to come.

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