Birthday Bio: Matt Stairs | Baseball | CBC Sports

MLBBirthday Bio: Matt Stairs

Posted: Thursday, February 27, 2014 | 09:47 AM

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Matt Stairs smacks what would be a game-winning, two-run home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 4 of the 2008 NLCS for the Philadelphia Phillies. (File/Getty Images) Matt Stairs smacks what would be a game-winning, two-run home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 4 of the 2008 NLCS for the Philadelphia Phillies. (File/Getty Images)

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CBCSports.ca wants to wish a happy birthday to athletes and others involved in the sports world who left a lasting legacy on their games or are responsible for moments still talked about. Today, we say "Happy 46th" to Matt Stairs, a Canadian baseball player known for coming up big in the clutch.
CBCSports.ca wants to wish a happy birthday to athletes and others involved in the sports world who left a lasting legacy on their games or are responsible for moments still talked about.

Today, we say "Happy 46th" to Matt Stairs, a Canadian baseball player known for coming up big in the clutch. (
NB: This article was originally published in 2013.)

The "journeyman" tag, while appropriate, doesn't do justice to Matt Stairs.

The former Major League Baseball player was born in Saint John, N.B., on Feb. 27, 1968, raised just outside of Fredericton, and then spent 19 seasons playing for 13 different MLB teams, and played in Japan.

So, yeah, you could say he's been around.

But how was he able to stick around so long? His given nickname of "Professional Hitter" had a lot to do with it.

Stairs toiled in the majors as a "hit man" of sorts, building a career .262 batting average, 265 home runs, and 899 RBIs, but his true value came from his innate ability to smack the long ball at clutch moments. The ever-valuable pinch hitter.

Which brings us to his crowning achievement -- Game 4 of the 2008 National League Championships Series. Stairs's Philadelphia Phillies (the ninth MLB team of his career) had just rallied to tie the game in Los Angeles against the Dodgers.

And then, this:



After the game (a 7-5 win for the Phillies; they'd close out the Dodgers in Game 5 and go on to win the World Series against the Rays), Stairs called it the biggest home run of his career.

He also told the reporters gathered at the press conference that it made him feel closer to a team he had joined late in the season (his description is quite entertaining with its use of a curious phrase).

The hit also spawned a t-shirt, playing off a phrase usually reserved for life-threatening situations, but seemed apropos for what the man brought to his teams in their time of need:

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Stairs retired in 2011, and still holds the record for most pinch-hit home runs in the majors, with 23. He was also inducted into the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame in June of 2013.

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