* Matt Stairs hit 23 pinch-hit home runs — but the most dramatic of all was his blast off Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Jonathan Broxton in the 2008 National League Championship Series to put the Philadelphia Phillies a win away from the World Series.
By Bob Elliott
A brief thumbnail sketch on each of the former players who will be inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in St. Marys on June 11-13.
The weekend kicks off Thursday with a celebrity homerun derby and ball game.
The 19th annual celebrity Golf Classic takes place on Friday.
And on Saturday following the Downtown Family Street Festival the 2015 ceremonies begin at 1 PM with Felipe Alou, former Montreal Expos, one-time Blue Jays slugger Carlos Delgado, 3B Corey Koskie and OF-DH Matt Stairs (Fredricton, NB) inducted.
Hometown: Fredericton, NB.
Played: Fredericton Schooners, National Baseball Institute.
Signed: As free agent, 1989 by Expos Ottawa scout Bill McKenzie.
Career: 19 years, 1,992 games.
Teams: Oakland A’s, Kansas City Royals, Blue Jays, Philadelphia Phillies, Montreal Expos, Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh Pirates, Milwaukee Brewers, San Diego Padres, Washington Nationals, Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers, Detroit Tigers.
Best years: 1997 A’s (27 HRs, 73 RBIs, .969 OPS), 2003 Pirates (.292, 20, 57, .950); 2007 Jays (.289, 21, 64, .917); 1999 A’s (.258, 38, 102, .899) 1998 A’s (.294, 26, 106, .880).
Numbers: 294 doubles, 13 triples, 265 homers, 899 RBIs, 30-for-54 stealing bases, .262 average, .832 OPS.
Canuck rankings: second all time in homers by a Canadian, second in games, third in RBIs, sixth in hits, eighth in OPS.
Did you know?: Stairs played shortstop for the Canadian Junior National Team.
Best quote: “What did want me to do? Hit a single and steal second?” after hit two-run, pinch-hit homer off Dodgers reliever Jonathan Broxton in the NLCS put the Phillies one win away from the 2008 World Series.
Currently: A Phillies broadcaster.
Hometown: Anola, Man.
Played: Elmwood Giants in Winnipeg, National Baseball Institute.
Drafted: 26th round from Des Moines Area Community College by Minnesota Twins scout Howie Norsetter.
Career: nine years, 989 games.
Teams: Twins, Blue Jays, Brewers.
Best years: 1999 Twins (.310 average, 11 HRs, 58 RBIs, .855 OPS); 2001 Twins (.276, 26, 103, .850), 2003 Twins (.292, 14, 69, .845) 2000 Twins (.300, nine, 65, .841).
Numbers: 223 doubles, 13 triples, 124 homers, 506 RBIs, 71-for-107 stealing bases, .275 average, .825 OPS.
Canuck rankings: seventh in homers, ninth in doubles, ninth in OPS, 12th in RBIs, 15th in hits, 16th in games.
Best quote: “It’s far too early to play games this intense, it’s March 7,” after heavily-favored Canada scored four times in the top of the ninth to edge South Africa 11-8 in the 2006 World Baseball Classic in Scottsdale, Az.
Currently: Coaching children Bradley 14, Joshua 12, Caleb nine and Samuel, five, in hockey and baseball, teaching the “Twins way.”
Hometown: Aguadilla, P.R.
Signed: By Jays scout Epy Guerrero in 1998.
Career: 17 years, 2,035 games.
Teams: Blue Jays, New York Mets, Florida Marlins.
Best years: 2000 Jays (.344 average, 41 HRs, 137 RBIs, 1.134 OPS), 2003 Jays (.302, 42, 45, .1.019), 2005 Marlins (.301, 33, 115, .981), 1998 Jays (.292, 38, 115, .978), 2002 Jays (.277, 33, 108, .955).
Numbers: 483 doubles, 18 triples, 473 homers, 1,512 RBIs, 14-for-22 stealing bases, .280 average, .929 OPS.
CanCon: 336 homers, 1,058 RBIs, .949 OPS for the Jays to lead the franchise, second in games played, third in hits. Jose Bautista would need to average 45 homers the next three seasons to catch Delgado.
Did you know: On Sept. 25, 2003 he joined Bobby Lowe, Ed Delahanty, Lou Gehrig, Chuck Klein, Pat Seerey, Gil Hodges, Joe Adcock, Willie Mays, Rocky Colavito, Mike Schmidt, Bob Horner, Mark Whiten, Mike Cameron and Shawn Green as the 15th player to homer four times in one game.
Quotable: “This is a tremendous honor, when I became a Blue Jay I never thought an honor of this nature would be possible. I am grateful to the Blue Jays organization and feel truly honoured to receive this recognition,” when his name was placed on the Level of Excellence, 2013.
Currently: Runs his Extra Bases Foundation, hitting coach for Puerto Rico in 2013 WBC.
Hometown: San Cristobal, Dominican Republic.
Signed: By the San Francisco Giants in 1955 as a free agent
Managed: 14 seasons, 2,055 games with Expos, Giants
Best years: 100 wins 2003 Giants, 94 wins 1993 Expos, 91 wins 2004 Giants, 88 wins 1996 Expos,
Played: 17 years, 2,082 games with Giants, Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves, A’s, Expos, Brewers.
Best years: 1966 Braves (.327 Avg., 31 HRs, 74 RBIs, .894 OPS); 1962 Giants (.316, 25, 98, .869); 1965 Braves (.297, 23, 78, .819); 1968 Braves (.317, 11, 57, .803); 1961 Giants (.289, 18, 52, .798).
Numbers: 359 doubles, 49 triples, 206 homers, 852 RBIs, 107-for-174 stealing bases, .286 average, .761 OPS.
CanCon: Played 19 games for 1973 Expos, managed or coached in Expo system at class-A West Palm Beach, double-A Memphis, triple-A Denver, triple-A Wichita, triple-A Indianapolis from 1977-1992; managed Expos 10 seasons (691-717, .491).
Family ties: Part of baseball’s largest family tree, along with his brothers Jay and Matty Alou, his son Moises Alou, cousin Jose Sosa and nephew Mel Rojas the six combined for 7,081 hits, 35 wins, 34 losses, 128 saves, pitching 725 2/3 innings appearing in 7,788 games.
Best quote: “I would have to say the best ever was Mays, I played with him in winter ball, in Japan and in the major leagues. I’ve never seen anyone as intense who had as much talent,” in 1999, after Joe MiMaggio died leading to the Aaron-Mays argument.
Currently: Special assistant to Giants GM Brian Sabean.