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Max St. Pierre

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2011 Topps Heritage #496 Michael McKenry/Max St. Pierre/Chris Hatcher/Mike Nickeas/Steve Hill

Maxim Joseph St. Pierre

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Max St. Pierre played his 14th professional season in 2010, then finally made his major league debut late that season. He was the second major leaguer from the Quebec City region, following Georges Maranda by 50 years.

St. Pierre was picked out of high school in the 26th round of the 1997 amateur draft by the Detroit Tigers. He hit .244/.340/.268 in 20 games for the GCL Tigers that year, followed by a .385/.467/.471 line in 31 games the next season. In 1999, Maxim batted .251/.305/.309 for the Oneonta Tigers. In 2000, he moved up to the West Michigan Whitecaps and produced at a .249/.373/.328 rate. He had the second-best OBP on the Midwest League champs, led the circuit's catchers with a .990 fielding percentage and handled a pitching staff whose 2.98 ERA was .43 lower than the next-best MWL team.

St. Pierre hit .248/.348/.340 in 2001 for the Lakeland Tigers and split Florida State League All-Star honors at catcher with Kevin Cash. Max hit .224 for the Maryvale Saguaros in the Arizona Fall League. In the 2002 season, the right-handed batter split time between Lakeland (.256/.324/.379 in 55 games), the Erie SeaWolves (.266/.320/.353 in 60 games) and the Toledo Mud Hens (0 for 2, RBI). His 8 double plays tied Rob Bowen for the most by a catcher in the FSL. He batted only .170 for the Mesa Solar Sox but Baseball America named him the best defensive catcher in the AFL.

In 2003, the Canadian backstop hit .236/.299/.358 for Erie. He led Eastern League catchers with 76 assists. He batted .234 for the Grand Canyon Rafters in his third Arizona Fall League campaign. During 2004, Max batted .248/.315/.383 for Erie. In 2005, he hit .278/.320/.369 for the SeaWolves. He threw out 46.5% of attempted base-stealers that season, leading the Eastern League. Having appeared for Canada in a Regional Olympic Qualifier in 2005, he played for Team Canada again in the 2006 World Baseball Classic. He went 0 for 2 as the backup to Pete LaForest in the inaugural World Baseball Classic.

St. Pierre hit only .202/.255/.304 for Toledo in 2006 as the team's primary cacher, then went 4 for 12 in the International League playoffs.

After 10 years in the Tigers chain, St. Pierre signed with the Kansas City Royals for 2007, but was traded for Ben Hendrickson before he could play a game for the Royals system. He went 5 for 32 with 4 walks for the Huntsville Stars. Milwaukee tried to turn him into a pitcher, but the move failed and he was released before he pitched in a game.

Max then signed with the Detroit organization for a second go-around. He split 2008 between Erie (.250/.331/.423 in 44 games) and Toledo (.213/.232/.280 in 42 games). In 2009, he hit .224/.297/.397 in 16 games for Erie and .248/.300/.423 in 45 for Toledo. His role remained the same in 2010 as he again split time between Erie (.217/.347/.500 in 20 G) and Toledo (.300/.356/.469 in 39 G).

On August 31, 2010, he was informed that he was heading to the Big Leagues for the first time. He officially joined the Tigers after the rosters expanded on September 1 and made his major league debut on September 4, starting the game behind the plate. He got his first major league hit that day, an 8th-inning single off Dusty Hughes with the game tied 4-4; he was then replaced by pinch-runner Brennan Boesch, who scored the game's winning run.

In April of 2012, Max was suspended for 50 games for violating organized baseball's policy on PEDs.

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