In this series I take a look at players who played for the Boston Red Sox but, for some reason, never had a card produced of them with the team.
Before Matt Stairs became the lovable, slightly pudgy power hitter that helped propel the Athletics back into contention in the late 1990's and early 2000's, he played for the Red Sox in 1995. Stairs was purchased by the Red Sox from the Expos in 1994 and spent all of 1994 and most of 1995 in the Red Sox minor league system.
He managed to play in 39 games as a 27 year old rookie for the Red Sox. He was not bad but not very good either. He hit .261/.298/.398 with one home run and 17 RBIs. It was his first career home run. I remember the home run came against the Royals. I was listening to the game on the radio. Stairs was actually on the postseason roster and had one at-bat against the Indians in the ALDS. He struck out.
With a mostly full outfield, Boston chose not to keep Stairs around and he became a free agent. He eventually signed with the Athletics. He became a good hitter in 1997 when he slugged 27 home runs.
For whatever reason, Matt Stairs never got a card with the Boston Red Sox. He did have some minor league cards though. I would attribute most of this to the fact that in the mid 1990's, companies were focusing on inserts and decreasing the size of their base sets. As a result, teams usually only had about ten to fifteen cards. So there was no room for a part-time outfielder who only played in 39 games in any sets. It is a shame. I would love to own one.