Thanks to the curly mullet, the swing-from-his-heels approach and the big postseason homer in Philly last year, Matt Stairs would be awesome even if he didn’t have a street named after him. Now, however, he has a street named after him:
On Saturday, the free-agent rightfielder, who played for the
Phillies the past two seasons, had a street named after him in his
hometown of Fredericton in the Canadian province of New Brunswick. And not just any street. The road that runs alongside Royal Field Park – the place Stairs first played professionally – has been renamed Matt Stairs Way.
“Royals Field . . . that’s one of the most special ones I’ve ever
been in,” Stairs told the Canadian Broadcasting Centre News. “One, it’s
in my hometown. Two, it’s where I was scouted, where I was signed. It’s
a home inside of a home city. And now, just to have a street named
around it is a great honor.”
I can’t think of a player I like more than Stairs. He’s all kinds of awesome packed into such an unassuming package. Stairs is one of the great “coulda beens” in baseball history. Sometimes I wonder what kind of damage Stairs would have done to major league pitching had the Expos not decided to try and make a second baseman out of him, which basically delayed his big league career until he was 29. If someone had stuck the guy at first or DH at age 23 or 24 and who knows what he would have done?
Sadly, it doesn’t look like the Phillies are interested in bringing him back for 2010. Not sure if anyone else will either (we’ll probably have to wait until the last possible minute before spring training to find out). But even if he never plays another inning, we’ll always have our memories of the guy, and Stairs will always have his street.