h2h Corner ~ Check You Out On the Flip Side: Matt Stairs

stairs backstairs frontThis card is from 1992. Apparently at that point in time, Matt Stairs was svelte enough to play second base. But, in all fairness, he probably wasn’t. In reality, I assume Matt Stairs wasn’t moved off second base because of the logjam, but rather because he couldn’t field the position worth a lick – and that is okay.

In 1991, he did kill the ball in AA, posting a .333/.411/.509 line. He would reach the majors in 1992, but played in only 13 games for the Expos. In 1993, he played in only six games – all in the outfield.

He resurfaced in the majors in 1995, during which he appeared in 39 games for the Red Sox. The following season he played in 61 games for the Oakland Athletics.

Finally, in 1997, as a 29-year-old, Stairs would get full time duties; presumably the function the Expos moved him off second base for six years previous. Stairs would hit .298/.386/.582 with 27 HRs. Over the next three seasons, he followed up with similar campaigns that saw him hit 26, 38 and 21 HRs.

After that, he joined the Cubs, did his usual thing, then went to Milwaukee the following year, then Pittsburgh, then Kansas City for two+ seasons, and then Texas for 26 games and Detroit for 14 games. After Detroit, he was in Toronto for a full season and part of the next, before joining the Phillies, hitting a home run and appearing in 115 games .

In sum, after 16 years of playing, Stairs went to the post-season with the Phillies and changed baseball history. I didn’t even remember that Stairs, a Canadian, started his career with the Expos. I certainly had no idea he started out as a second basemen. It’s funny, this game. You begin as a bright-eyed 24-year-old power hitting infielder who can take a pitch, and low and behold 16 years later you hit one of the most important homeruns for the city of Philadelphia.

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