OTTAWA- Matt Stairs (Fredericton, NB) has decided to retire after a wonderful 19-year career in Major League Baseball. Stairs’ career has seen him where the uniform of 13 different big-league clubs and win a World Series with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2008. Stairs also holds the major league record for the most career pinch-hit homeruns with 23.
"It's one of those things where I can walk away today and not be sad about it," said Stairs in an interview with CBC News.
Stairs penchant for the pinch-hit homerun provided one of the most famous moments in Phillies history when he took LA Dodgers pitcher Jonathan Broxton deep in Game 4 of the National League Championship to give the Phillies the lead. The Phillies went on to win the game and series which led to a World Series berth where they eventually defeated the Tampa Bay Rays.
The 43 year-old leaves the game with 265 career homeruns (2nd all-time amongst Canadians), 899 RBI’s and a career .262 batting average. Stairs best seasons came in the late 90’s as a member of the Oakland Athletics where he set career highs in homeruns (38 in 1999), RBI’s (106 in 1998) and batting average (.298 in 1997).
Stairs is part of an exclusive club of Canadian major leaguers to play for both the Montréal Expos (1992, 1993) and the Toronto Blue Jays (2007, 2008).
No stranger to wearing the maple leaf, Stairs has represented Canada 6 times at various international baseball events. Stairs was a member of the Junior National Team in 1986, participated in the Intercontinental Cup in 1987, played in 1988 World Championships, was a member of the Olympic Team in 1988 when baseball was a demonstration sport in Seoul and played for Canada in both World Baseball Classics (2006, 2009).
It is expected that Stairs will attend the Senior Mens National Championship in Chatham, NB from August 25th-29th where he will be a guest coach for the Fredericton Royals.