This article and video interview with Matt Stairs were produced by Natalie Egenolf.
“Great moments…are born from great opportunities…” yeah, you know how the rest of that goes. While Herb Brooks may have uttered these words to the U.S. Men’s Olympic hockey team 34 years ago, I always come back to think of them for other great moments in sports history. The 2008 Philadelphia Phillies World Series championship was one of the greatest moments in Philadelphia sports history. The journey to this moment started the year Herb gave that speech. 1980 had been the last time the Phillies had won the World Series and by the time 2008 rolled around, the city had been starved for a championship.
When I reflect on the 2008 post-season, I recall so many of the great moments that were born from the great opportunities that presented themselves. One of the greatest memorable moments of the entire postseason, and the most memorable moment from the NLCS, was Matt Stairs coming off the bench in game 4 and crushing a homer off of Jonathan Broxton to right field to break the tie in the 8th inning. I know you remember exactly where you were and what you were doing during that homerun, that great moment. For Matt Stairs, this one opportunity at bat turned into a great moment and changed the course of his life. On top of sealing the fate of the game and hitting his first postseason home run of a 16-year career, he propelled him into the heart of every Philadelphia sports fan.
In February of this year, Matt rejoined the Phillies in a different role in the broadcast booth. Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with Matt at Everybody Hits batting cages on West Girard Ave in Philly to talk about his journey from that great moment in Los Angeles, to his decision to take this great opportunity as a broadcaster now. We also had the chance to get into the cages, where Matt showed me some of his techniques for being a successful hitter in the majors (and I’m not kidding when I say my swing has greatly improved). I hope you’ll join us for Phillies Nation TV in the upcoming weeks to take a deeper look at Matt Stairs, one of our ’08 World Series heroes.