Steve Pearce (baseball)

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Steve Pearce
Steve Pearce (36952880145) (cropped).jpg
Pearce in 2017
Toronto Blue Jays – No. 28
Left fielder / First baseman
Born: (1983-04-13) April 13, 1983 (age 34)
Lakeland, Florida
Bats: Right Throws: Right
MLB debut
September 1, 2007, for the Pittsburgh Pirates
MLB statistics
(through 2017 season)
Batting average .254
Hits 495
Home runs 79
Runs batted in 252
Medal record
Men’s baseball
Representing  United States
Baseball World Cup
Gold medal – first place 2007 Tianmu National team

Steven Wayne Pearce (born April 13, 1983) is an American professional baseball left fielder and first baseman for the Toronto Blue Jays of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Houston Astros, New York Yankees, Tampa Bay Rays, and Baltimore Orioles.

Amateur career[edit]

Pearce is a 2001 graduate of Lakeland High School in Lakeland, Florida, where he was a three-year letterman in baseball and posted a career .383 batting average.[citation needed]

Pearce was selected twice in the MLB Draft, but did not sign; taken in the 45th round in the 2003 Major League Baseball Draft by Minnesota and in the 10th round in the 2004 Major League Baseball Draft by the Boston Red Sox. He played two seasons (2002–03) at Indian River Community College (Fla.) leading Indian River in batting average both seasons and combined to hit 17 home runs. Pearce transferred to the University of South Carolina and led the Gamecocks in batting average, home runs and RBIs in 2004 and 2005, and hit 42 home runs in his two seasons with USC to become the first player in school history to reach the 40-homer plateau that quickly.[citation needed]

As a senior in 2005, he hit .358 with 21 home runs and 63 RBI and was a Second-Team All-SEC selection, a Baseball America Second-Team All-American and the NCBWA District IV Player of the Year. Pearce was named to the watch lists for both the Golden Spikes Award (USA Baseball's top amateur baseball player) and the Dick Howser Trophy (top collegiate baseball player) prior to the 2005 season. As a transfer junior in 2004, he hit .346 with 21 home runs and 70 RBI to lead the Gamecocks to their third consecutive appearance in the College World Series and was named USC's Rookie of the Year and was selected to both the NCAA Regional All-Tournament Team and the College World Series All-Tournament Team. He set a South Carolina school record with a 1.000 fielding percentage (416 PO, 22 A, 0 E) in 50 games at first base.[citation needed]

He played for the Cotuit Kettlers of the Cape Cod League in the summer of 2004 and hit .275 with one home run.[citation needed]

Professional career[edit]

Pittsburgh Pirates[edit]

Pearce with the Indianapolis Indians in 2009

The Pittsburgh Pirates selected Pearce in the eighth round of the 2005 Major League Baseball Draft.

Pearce began the 2007 season with the Pirates' A affiliate, the Lynchburg Hillcats, then onto the AA Altoona Curve, AAA Indianapolis Indians. During his 2007 run in the minors, Pearce hit 31 home runs. Pearce then made his Major League debut for the Pirates on September 1 against the Milwaukee Brewers. He would then go on to play 23 games with the Pirates.

In 2008, Pearce spent the majority of the year in Indianapolis, but made several appearances for the Pirates. On September 2, he was recalled again when the roster expanded.

In 2009, he failed to make the Pirates starting day roster after spring training and began the year at Triple-A. With the recent addition of outfield prospects in the organization, Pearce was moved back to playing first base. He was recalled on June 20.[1] Pearce joined the Pirates on July 23 to become the starting first baseman following the trade of Adam LaRoche. He ended a poor 2009 season with 13 doubles, 1 triple, 4 home runs, 16 runs batted in, 1 stolen base, to go along with a .206 average, .296 on-base percentage, .370 slugging percentage, in just 165 at-bats.

Pearce started the 2010 season with the Indianapolis Indians, but was eventually called up by the Pirates due to his .345 batting average for the Indians.

2011 marked the first time in his career that Pearce won a roster spot with the Pirates straight out of spring training. He'd never spent Opening Day in the major leagues. He obtained a .283 batting average during spring training and had five doubles among his 13 hits. More importantly, he increased his versatility by working at two new positions, third base and left field.[2]

Minnesota Twins[edit]

On December 15, 2011, Pearce signed a minor league contract with the Minnesota Twins. The Twins released him on March 27, 2012.

New York Yankees[edit]

Pearce signed with the New York Yankees on March 29, 2012. He played for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees.

Baltimore Orioles[edit]

Pearce batting for the Baltimore Orioles in 2012

On June 2, 2012, the Yankees traded Pearce to the Baltimore Orioles for cash considerations.[3] He made his debut against the Tampa Bay Rays the following day, Sunday, in the starting lineup, batting eighth and playing right field. On June 14, he hit his first home run with the Orioles and recorded 5 RBIs. He and teammate Matt Wieters became the first pair of Orioles to both record five RBIs since Cal Ripken, Jr. and Will Clark did it in 1999 in Atlanta vs. the Atlanta Braves.[4] Pearce was designated for assignment on July 21.

Houston Astros[edit]

On July 28, 2012, the Houston Astros claimed Pearce from the Baltimore Orioles.

Second stint with the Yankees[edit]

On August 27, 2012, the New York Yankees re-acquired Pearce from the Astros in exchange for cash considerations.[5] On September 25, 2012, the Yankees designated Pearce for assignment in order to make room on the roster to activate outfielder Brett Gardner from the 60-day DL.

Second stint with the Orioles[edit]

Pearce was claimed off waivers by the Orioles on September 29, 2012.[6] He played in 44 games for Baltimore in 2013, hitting .261 with 4 home runs and 13 RBI.


Pearce with the Orioles in 2015

Pearce re-signed with Baltimore on a one-year deal worth $850,000 for the 2014 season.[7] On March 29, 2014 it was announced that Pearce had made the Opening Day roster for the Orioles. He was designated for assignment on April 22, and was released on April 27.[8] He re-signed on April 29.[9] On May 6, Pearce hit his first home run of the season in a 5-3 Orioles victory over the Tampa Rays.[10] Pearce hit his second home run of the season two nights later to help sweep the series on the road against the Rays. Pearce continued his hot streak the following night hitting his third home run of the year in the Orioles 4-3 victory over the Houston Astros. He and teammate Adam Jones were named co-AL Players of the Week for the week ending on July 6.

Pearce had an extremely successful 2014 season, setting career-highs in home runs (21), RBIs (49), runs scored (51), batting average (.293), and doubles (26).[11]


Pearce received a significant upgrade in salary for the 2015 season; settling on a salary of $3.7 million with the Orioles, well above the seven hundred thousand he had made the previous season.[12] His 2015 season was not as successful as his 2014 season, while he did hit 15 home runs he ended the year with a batting average of .218 and On base percentage of .289 over 92 games and 325 Plate appearances.[13]

Tampa Bay Rays[edit]

On January 28, 2016, Pearce signed a one-year contract worth $4.75 million with the Tampa Bay Rays. The deal also has up to $1.25 million in bonuses for plate appearances, as well as a $250,000 bonus if he is traded by the Rays.[14] Throughout his stint with Tampa Bay, Pearce was utilized as the designated hitter for the team but also played first base, second and third at times. In 60 games, he hit .309 with 10 home runs.

Third stint with the Orioles[edit]

On August 1, 2016, the Rays traded Pearce to the Orioles for Jonah Heim.[15]

Toronto Blue Jays[edit]

Pearce at Orioles

On December 5, 2016, Pearce signed a two-year, $12.5 million contract with the Toronto Blue Jays.[16] On May 14, 2017, Pearce suffered a strained calf while sliding into second base during a game against the Seattle Mariners; forcing him to leave the game and subsequently be placed on the disabled list.[17] He returned to the lineup on June 16 and hit a home run against the Chicago White Sox.[18] Pearce hit the third walk-off grand slam in franchise history on July 27, lifting the Blue Jays to an 8–4 victory and a four-game sweep of the Oakland Athletics.[19] Three days later, he hit another walk-off grand slam, giving the Blue Jays an 11–10 win over the Los Angeles Angels. In doing so, Pearce became the 29th player in MLB history to hit an ultimate grand slam, and the third player to hit two walk-off grand slams in a season, joining Cy Williams and Jim Presley, who did so in 1926 and 1986 respectively. Pearce also became the first player in MLB history to hit multiple walk-off grand slams within the span of a single week.[20][21]


  1. ^ Sio, Cheng (June 20, 2009). "Bucs call up Pearce from Indianapolis". Retrieved 2011-03-28. 
  2. ^ Biertempfel, Rob (March 28, 2011). "Utility player makes first Opening Day roster". Retrieved 2011-03-28. 
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^ "New York Yankees Acquire 1B/OF Steve Pearce from Houston Astros". 
  6. ^ Ghiroli, Brittany. "Orioles claim Steve Pearce off waivers from the Yankees |". Retrieved 2016-12-05. 
  7. ^ Twitter / Ken_Rosenthal: Source: #Orioles re-sign Steve Pearce, one year, $850K.
  8. ^ Encina, Eduardo A. (April 27, 2014). "Orioles notes on Chris Davis, upcoming roster move, Manny Machado and more". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved April 27, 2014. 
  9. ^ Connolly, Dan (April 29, 2014). "Orioles re-sign Steve Pearce to major league deal". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved April 29, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Baltimore Orioles Top Tampa Bay Rays 5-3; Chris Tillman Rebounds After Tough First Inning". 
  11. ^ "Steve Pearce". Retrieved September 27, 2014. 
  12. ^ Brown, Mark (2015-01-30). "Orioles, Steve Pearce agree on $3.7 million contract for 2015". Camden Chat. Retrieved 2016-12-05. 
  13. ^ "Steve Pearce 2015 Batting Splits". Retrieved 2016-12-05. 
  14. ^ Adams, Steve (January 28, 2016). "Rays Sign Steve Pearce". MLB Trade Rumors. Retrieved April 4, 2016. 
  15. ^ "Orioles reacquire Pearce, sending minor leaguer to Rays". August 1, 2016. Retrieved August 12, 2017. 
  16. ^ Nicholson-Smith, Ben (December 5, 2016). "Blue Jays sign Steve Pearce to two-year, $12.5M deal". Retrieved December 5, 2016. 
  17. ^ "Steve Pearce leaves game with injury". May 14, 2017. Retrieved May 26, 2017. 
  18. ^ "White Sox chase Biagini in rout of Jays". June 16, 2017. Retrieved June 19, 2017. 
  19. ^ Chisholm, Gregor; Lee, Jane (July 27, 2017). "Pearce hits walk-off slam as Toronto sweeps A's". Retrieved July 30, 2017. 
  20. ^ Matheson, Keegan; Guardado, Maria (July 30, 2017). "Deja Blue Jay: Pearce's historic slam". Retrieved July 30, 2017. 
  21. ^ Harrison, Ian (July 30, 2017). "Pearce slams again, Jays score 7 in 9th, beat Angels 11-10". Retrieved July 30, 2017. 

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