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Hall of Fame Poll: Matt Stairs

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I'll admit, right off the top, Matt Stairs is one of my favorite players all time.

I was at a game, years ago, with Stair in right field, I think he was an A at the time, and he was throwing, between innings, with the ball boy who was sitting along the right field line. Matt took the time to give the guy pointers on throwing, getting him to throw more over the top, instead of side arming so much, making his throws more accurate and stronger.

Just the way he took the time to, gently, give this kid some tips impressed me so much.

Now, that he is Canadian, a left-handed 'all or nothing' batter, who played for the Expos and the Blue Jays. I bat lefty too and, at various time, tried to mimic Stairs' swing.

Stairs had a 19 year career, hitting .262/.356/.477 with 265 home runs in 1895 games. He played for 12 MLB teams (13 if you consider the Expos and the Nationals two different teams. He also played in Japan. As a Jay, he had one excellent seaon, hitting .289/.368/.549 with 21 home runs. The next season didn't go as well (a bit of an understatement, Frank Thomas was released, we watched Brad Wilkerson and Kevin Mench try to play outfield and Gibby was fired) and Stairs was traded to the Phillies at the end of August

Defensively? Well, his best position was DH, but he could play left and right and first base.

On the list of baseball players with whom I'd like to sit and have a beer or two, Matt is right near the top. He just seems like a great guy (and maybe he would let me tough his World Series ring).

He was elected to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame last year.

Matt's graph.

A lot of debate about the Hall of Fame relates to comparing a candidate against others elected and excluded. The chart below shows all players who played the majority of their career after 1945 (excluding active players, and those on the ballot or yet to hit the ballot) according to how long they played and how productive they were. TRC+ is wRC+, just for all runs rather than just batting runs. This is not meant to be definitive, but a high level starting point showing how players with similarly productive and lasting careers have fared.


Similar Players: None in Hall of Fame