Matt Stairs – 1993 Score Select
June 3, 2011
Still Hanging On…
One can never accuse Matt Stairs of not getting his money’s worth out of baseball.
Specifically, hitting the baseball.
He’s always been a hideous fielder, but he’s still active, and ironically with the same organization that he started in long, long ago.
He wasn’t drafted, as baseball didn’t draft international players at the time (he’s from New Brunswick). So he signed with the Expos in 1989. Soon he was their hot prospect, advancing rapidly through the system. He had an outstanding year in 1991 in the Eastern League, and while his raw numbers were down in AAA in 1992 he had a great OBP.
But believe it or not the Expos were in a mode where they didn’t have the luxury to develop another hitter, so they sold Stairs to Japan in mid-1993. He was brought back by the Expos, but Boston purchased his contract. Stairs was in AA all of 1994, at Pawtucket most of 1995, and then signed as a minor league free agent with Oakland for 1996. From mid-1996 onward he’s been in the big leagues for the most part, providing patience and power and no doubt a good clubhouse presence.
How many careers started in 1996 and have already ended?
Stairs is really struggling this year. Last season he didn’t hit for average at all but when he connected he crushed (Matt SMASH!) but this year may be the end of the line, for keeps. But he’s going down with a fight, for sure.
What drew me to this card was not just the fact it’s Matt Stairs, but that there’s a quote on the back from another baseball lifer.
If you can’t read it, the quote at the end says: “He’s a great natural hitter, a God-given talent,” said Harrisburg manager Mike Quade.
Yep, the Mike Quade that finally has his chance to manage full-time in the bigs this year – and he’s saddled with the Cubs. Thankfully, the Cubs have no delusions of grandeur this year thanks to a starting staff that should mostly be toiling in Iowa.
I don’t think Matt Stairs has any delusions of grandeur either. MATT SMASH!