This Day In Sports: A Boisean makes his debut in the bigs

July 17, 2012: Stephen Fife becomes only the third native Boisean to make the major leagues, and his debut is a dandy. Fife was called up for a spot start for the Los Angeles Dodgers opposite two-time Cy Young Award winner Roy Halladay and allowed just one run on four hits over six innings. Fife left the game with a 2-1 lead over Philadelphia—he took a no-decision when the Dodgers ended up with a 3-2 loss.

Fife was a member of the 1999 South Central Boise team that made the Little League World Series and helped Borah High to the 2005 state 5A championship. He then starred at Utah before being drafted in the third round of the 2008 MLB Draft. Fife went 4-6 in 18 appearances for the Dodgers from 2012-14. The 2013 season was his best, as he made 10 starts and went 4-4 with a 3.86 ERA. Fife is now an associate with Cushman & Wakefield, the commercial real estate firm, specializing in properties in Idaho and Arizona.

Three other native Boiseans have made it to the majors since Fife. Former Bishop Kelly pitcher (and quarterback) Josh Osich debuted with the San Francisco Giants in 2015 and played parts of seven seasons in the bigs. Osich went 13-6 in his career with a 5.02 ERA. He last pitched for the Cincinnati Reds two years ago. Boise High grad James Hoyt took a circuitous rout to the bigs before making his debut with the Astros in 2016 at the age of 29. Hoyt made 65 appearances over his first two seasons for Houston. He last pitched for the L.A. Angels in 2021 and went 4-1 with a 3.94 ERA in his career.

Last year, former Timberline standout Michael Stefanic became the second native Boisean to make the majors as a position player. Stefanic, a second baseman, had been tearing it up at Triple-A Salt Lake before finally getting his shot with the Angels. He started well but then leveled off, batting .197 in 25 games before being sent back down. A 62-game on-base streak this season earned Stefanic another call-up last month, but he appeared in just three games before returning to Salt Lake. Now he’s back on the Angels roster after being recalled Friday. Stefanic went 1-for-3 in Friday night’s 7-5 loss to Houston.

Boise’s first native big leaguer was Pat House, a pitcher for the Houston Astros who went 2-1 in 24 appearances in 1967-68. House once played baseball for Lyle Smith at Boise Junior College. The second was Vance Law, the son of former Pittsburgh Pirates star Vern Law (who was born in Meridian). Vance Law played for five teams over 11 seasons from 1980-91 and hit .256 with 71 home runs.

(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra. He also anchors four sports segments each weekday on 95.3 FM KTIK and one on News/Talk KBOI. His Scott Slant column runs every Wednesday.)

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