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On This Date in Sports August 21, 2010: Emergency Stairs

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Matt Stairs, a well-traveled journeyman, playing with the San Diego Padres, hits a two-run pinch-hit home run off Kameron Loe in the eighth inning. The blast is not enough as the Padres lose 6-5 to the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. It is the 21st pinch-hit home run of Stairs’ career, setting a new major league record. Cliff Johnson had established the previous mark in 1984.

Matt Stairs was born on February 27, 1968, in St. John in the Canadian maritime province of New Brunswick. After playing for Team Canada at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, Stairs signed with the Montreal Expos. Matt Stairs made his debut with the Expos in 1992. He would spend the next 20 years bouncing around the majors, playing for 13 teams plus one stop in Japan.

 Matt Stairs spent much of his early career jockeying between AAA and the majors. He played just 19 games with the Expos before being sold to Japan’s Chunichi Dragons in1993. He returned to the states and spent 1994 in AA New Britain with the Boston Red Sox. In 1995, Stairs hit his first major league home run with the Red Sox but again was on the move, signing with the Oakland Athletics.

Stairs had his best years with the Athletics, playing five seasons in Oakland. From there, it was four teams in four seasons as he played with the Chicago Cubs in 2001, Milwaukee Brewers in 2002, Pittsburgh Pirates in 2003, and the Kansas City Royals in 2004. Matt Stairs spent parts of three seasons in Kansas City before playing for three teams in 2006, moving on from the Royals to the Texas Rangers to the Detroit Tigers.

 In 2007, Matt Stairs signed to play with the Toronto Blue Jays. Stairs played parts of two seasons with the Jays before being traded to the Philadelphia Phillies at the end of the 2008 season. Stairs would end up being a key player off the bench as the Phillies won the 2008 World Series. Matt Stairs spent a second season in Philadelphia as the Phillies again appeared in the Fall Classic.

 In 2010 Matt Stairs' journey brought him to the San Diego Padres, where he made the team as a non-roster spring invite. Once again, Stairs was valuable off the bench as he set the record with 21 career pinch-hit home runs. Matt Stairs' final season would be with the Washington Nationals as he came full circle, as the Nationals formerly were the Montreal Expos. Stairs would end his career with 23 pinch-hit dingers.