I had the opportunity to interview Canadian baseball great Matt Stairs today.Unfortunately, it wasn’t to discuss his being honoured with an induction into the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame.
Nor was it to talk about his years as a beloved Toronto Blue Jay, or anything to do with his great 19-year baseball career.
Rather, it was because while he was up in New Brunswick this weekend for the induction ceremony festivities, someone broke into his house and stole a number of items, including jewelry including his NLCS championship ring. Thankfully he said his World Series ring wasn’t in the house, so that remained safe.
Stairs was supposed to have been in my hometown of Moncton on Monday to take part in a charity golf tournament, but obviously he had to head home to Bangor, Maine to take care of his personal crisis.
Now of course, I was contacting him as a professional journalist and also contacting him in a time of trauma, so I had to keep some sense of decorum and professionalism without simply gushing about how awesome I think he is.
However, I just simply had to bring up the 2008 NLCS Game 4 homerun against Jonathan Broxton. I just had to somehow mention how amazing that one moment of baseball history was and how much I enjoyed it.
But how to bring it up? As the interview was winding down and goodbyes were about to be spoken, I went for it, telling Mr. Stairs how it was unfortunate to have to talk to him under these circumstances, but as a big baseball guy I was quite a fan of his career and especially the time he spent with the Jays.
He was appreciative so then I threw in my final question, mentioning how despite the loss of some personal possessions, is there a bit of solace in the fact that his memories and accomplishments can never be taken away?
“The bomb off Broxton, you’ll always have that,” I enthused, probably with far too much excitement in my voice.
Stairs had understandably been relatively subdued throughout the interview, but even I could hear him perk up through the phone as his response came back.
“Yeah, that was pretty awesome,” he said.
Yes Matt, indeed it was.
Let’s hope whoever performed this break-and-enter get what’s coming to them (for their sake let’s hope it’s not Stairs finding out who did it while he is holding a baseball bat) and cheers to a good Canadian boy in Stairs who isn’t going to let this setback get him too down.
Even on your worst day, the fact you took Broxton deep to win an NLCS game is, without a doubt, pretty awesome.