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Happy Birthday Matt Stairs

Toronto Blue Jays v Detroit Tigers

Today is Matt Stairs 52nd birthday.

Matt, as you know, is a good Canadian boy. He played 2 seasons with the Jays and started his major league career with the Expos, back in 1992.

Of his two years with the Jays, the first was terrific. He hit 21 home runs, 64 RBI, with a .289/.373/.549. The Jays signed him with the idea he could be a bench player but he got into 125 games playing first base, left and right field and a little DH.

The second season, he played more, especially after the Jays released Frank Thomas, and he wasn’t as successful. We traded him to the Phillies near the end of the season, for Fabio Castro. Castro never played for us.

Matt had a big pinch hit home run for Philadelphia in their drive for the playoffs in 2008. He played for the Phillies in 2009. He would play for the Padres and Nationals the next two seasons, retiring after the 2011 season at age 44.

He played 19 seasons, hitting .262/.356/.477 with 265 home runs in 1895 games. He played for 12 different MLB teams. He must have quite a collection of jerseys.

Matt is number 3 among Canadian baseball players in home runs and number 2 in games played.

Matt has been a favorite of mine since seeing him years ago in Toronto when Matt was an Oakland A. Warming up between innings, Matt was throwing to a ball boy in front of us and he took the time to show the teenager how to throw properly, straight over top instead of 3/4 so that his throws would go straight and not tail. I thought it was great the a major league player would spend the time to give a little lesson during a game.

Happy Birthday, Matt. Hope it is a good one.

It is also Cliff Politte’s birthday. He turns 46 today.

Cliff was a right-handed reliever. He had a 9-year MLB career. He spent two seasons with the Blue Jays. We traded Dan Plesac to the Phillies to get him early in the 2002 season.

In his 2 seasons as a Jay he had a 4.56 ERA, pitching in 109 games.

In total he played in 330 games, starting 16. He had a 4.40 ERA. 22-23 record with 15 saves.

Happy Birthday Cliff.