Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Matt Stairs

I'm going to admit I forgot all about this one and it was a pleasant surprise when it came in the mail. According to the SCN database, Matt Stairs used to be really good about signing his mail during his playing days. In fact, I'm pretty sure I sent him a letter and a card back in the day and got it back signed. I'm not sure what happened in the meantime, but he hasn't had a listed success since he retired in 2011. Maybe it is just a location thing as Stairs in Canadian and most likely retired there.

Anyway, I saw someone on SCN listing a private signing with Stairs so I jumped on the opportunity to add another former Cub to the ATCRCS collection. Normally when I send in for these, I have tracking on my outgoing envelope to ensure safe delivery as well as on my SASE. And I set up with the USPS website to get an alert when there is some update with the delivery confirmation.

But back to the Canada thing. I can't get delivery confirmation, coming or going, so this one was sent out with a hope and prayer. As you can see, it came back!

This is another one that scanned weird. On the real card, Stairs isn't that dark and the background isn't that pale of a yellow. As for the signature, there's not much flair that can be put into a name like Matt Stairs, so it's pretty basic, but also nice and legible (mostly).

It might hard to call a journeyman player like Matt Satirs underrated since it seems like half the league took a flyer on him. Somebody on 13 different teams (12 franchises) thought he was good enough to help them at some point or another. The only team to double dip in the Matt Stairs talent pool was the Montreal Expos/Washington Nationals tandem. He started his career in Montreal and ended it in DC. His career stat sheet looks like my elementary school transcripts as a military brat. Here a year, there for two...

For the Cubs, their year was 2001, after saying goodbye to longtime first baseman, Mark Grace. The seventeen home runs Stairs hit that year matched Grace's career high from a few seasons prior. It also started a 3-year revolving door at first base until Derrek Lee came along.

In addition to playing for more teams than any other position player, Stairs had a knack for being warm off the bench. His 23 career pinch hit home runs are also a Major League record. As far as I can tell though, none of Stairs seventeen Cub home run were of the pinch hit variety.

This card is #58 in the ATCRCS collection.

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