Love Live the Major League Career of Maxim St. Pierre

The Core Belief

The Detroit Tigers 2010 season has been for naught; specifically the second half of the season. After battling to 10 games above .500 hundred the day before the All-Star Break, the boys promptly went on a massive losing streak the day regular play resumed. On this date their record that stands at 65-68, 3 games below the Mendoza Line.

The last thing my fellow Tiger fans and I want to do is switch our attention to the perennially lousy Lions. This would usually be our sorry lot in the fall however a story of Hollywood proportions is growing in Comerica Park. Unfortunately it doesn’t involve an historic comeback by the boys, they’re 12 games out of first with 29 left to play for G-d sakes. No, this story is of dreams fulfilled though it took many years and it involves a career minor league catcher with the odd baseball moniker of Maxim St. Pierre.

St. Pierre has spent 14 years in the Detroit Tigers minor leagues (recently) bouncing back and forth between Triple A Toledo and Double A Eire and finally got his call to have (at least) his cup of coffee in the major leagues.

According to the Detroit News

All the challenges of the past were worth it for Max St. Pierre.

• Being a 10-year-old loving the game, but “not making contact for the first year I played,” he said.

• The language barrier, about which he once said, “The pitchers thought I was dumb because of my (French-Canadian) accent. I couldn’t communicate with them.”

• His one year (2007) outside the Tigers organization — when the Brewers gave some thought to turning him into a pitcher.

• The portions of seven seasons he spent at Double A Erie. And again last year when he went backward — from Triple to Double A.

They all became worth it when St. Pierre found out Tuesday that after 14 years in the minors he was finally being called up to the big leagues.

On Wednesday in the Tigers clubhouse at Target Field, the “chill bumps” as he called them had disappeared but not the excitement.

“The bumps lasted an hour, though,” he said.

When asked if he’d ever known anyone who spent more time in the minors before getting to the majors, manager Jim Leyland said, “Yeah, me. Eighteen years.”

And when Leyland finally got to the majors, it was as a coach, not a player — about which Leyland said this year that he’d trade his entire managing year for a day in the majors as a player.

“If I was going to play,” he said Wednesday. “Not if I was going to sit. Max will play. He will get into a game, I assure you.”

It didn’t happen Wednesday, but St. Pierre, who insists there is a hyphen not a period in his last name, said he slept just an hour because “I didn’t want to miss my flight.”

“But I still feel like I’m dreaming.”

The newest Tiger said the closest he ever came to calling it quits was last year when he was returned to Double A.

“I was doing real well, and thinking I might get a chance, but I broke my hand after that.”

It wasn’t a fun time for him. This is, though.

The money’s better. The food and hotels are, too. But his quest to get to the majors hasn’t been about any of that.

“It’s always been about the dream, and wanting to get there,” the 30-year-old catcher said. “I want everybody back home to know I made it.”

They do. But the dream hasn’t come completely true yet.

“It will come true when I get a hit,” he said.

Since I read about Maxim St. Pierre’s winding 14-year route to Comerica Park, I find myself scouring the box scores before and after each game looking to see if St. Pierre has been inserted in to the lineup. Pride of the Yankees it ain’t but a feel good story for a fan base and city in desperate need it surely is.

Go Max!

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