Former O's CF Paul Blair dead at 69

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from jete02fan. Show jete02fan's posts

    Former O's CF Paul Blair dead at 69

    condolences to the Blair family and the Oriole's organization.......Paul Blair, former Orioles center fielder, is dead at 69.

    By Mike Klingaman, The Baltimore Sun

    11:21 p.m. EST, December 26, 2013

    Paul Blair, a key member of four Orioles' World Series teams and considered the best defensive outfielder in franchise history, died Thursday evening in Pikesville while participating in a celebrity bowling tournament, according to Gloria Blair, his wife of 42 years.

    He was 69.

    Gloria Blair said her husband played 18 holes of golf with friends Thursday morning, and when he came home was asked to take part in a celebrity bowling tournament at AMF Pikesville Lanes.

    "Paul was honestly too tired, but he never says no," she Blair said. "During a practice round, he threw two or three balls, then sat down and told a friend, 'I feel funny' and kind of collapsed. He lost consciousness and they called 911 and the ambulance took him to [Sinai Hospital], but the doctors there told me they never got a pulse. I was told he died around 6:45 p.m."

    On Dec. 23, 2009, Mr. Blair suffered a heart attack and was rushed to Howard County General, where a stent was inserted, and he returned home Christmas Day.

    Over the years, Mr. Blair, a resident of Woodstock in Howard County, worked as an Orioles' spring training instructor and was a fixture at old-timers' events in the Baltimore area.

    He spent 13 of his 17 seasons with the Orioles, winning two World Series (1966, 1970) and capturing eight Gold Gloves as the club's sure-handed center fielder. The Orioles acquired him in the first-year player draft from the New York Mets in the 1962 offseason, and he made his debut in the majors at age 20 in 1964.

    By 1966, he had emerged as a competent hitter and force with the glove. He then became a mainstay atop the Orioles' dangerous order.

    Known as "Motormouth," Mr. Blair won seven consecutive Gold Gloves from 1969 until 1975, the second-most in club history — and earned the reputation of covering more ground than just about any outfielder in his day. Videos of No. 6 running to the wall to make a basket catch or sprinting in, grabbing a liner and catapulting his body with a throw are etched into Orioles' lore.

    He's also remembered for his frantic dashes around the diamond, leading the league in triples with 12 in 1967. He batted .474 with nine hits in the Orioles' 1970 World Series victory over the Cincinnati Reds and might have been the Series MVP if it weren't for the amazing play of Brooks Robinson.

    The Orioles traded Mr. Blair to the New York Yankees before the 1977 season for Elliott Maddox and Rick Bladt, and he played on two more World Series champions in the Bronx. He also played briefly with the Reds before ending his career in 1980 with the Yankees.

    Al Bumbry, who eventually replaced Mr. Blair as the Orioles center fielder, started out in left field because center was Mr. Blair's domain.

    "He taught me a lot, a lot about playing. He always made me feel comfortable. It wasn't like we were competing for the same position," Mr. Bumbry said. "He played very shallow and I would always marvel about how he played as shallow as he did and how well he could go back on balls."

    Mr. Blair was a career .250 hitter with 134 homers and 171 stolen bases, and three times in his career he hit 17 or more homers and stole 20 or more bases in the same season.

    Throughout their time together as players and later on the celebrity golf circuit, Mr. Bumbry said, "Motormouth" didn't stop talking.

    "He was that way; he never stopped talking, and it wasn't always about baseball. I figured all the Gold Gloves he won gave him the right to talk," Mr. Bumbry said. "He was very humorous, so funny. Everybody loved him."

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from crazyworldoftroybrown. Show crazyworldoftroybrown's posts

    Re: Former O's CF Paul Blair dead at 69

    Played the shallowest CF I ever saw. Growing up simply the Best Defensive CF in my time. After he got hit in Head, wasn't the same batter, before that he was great 2 way Player.

    God Bless, still have great memories.

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from jete02fan. Show jete02fan's posts

    Re: Former O's CF Paul Blair dead at 69

    In response to crazyworldoftroybrown's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Played the shallowest CF I ever saw. Growing up simply the Best Defensive CF in my time. After he got hit in Head, wasn't the same batter, before that he was great 2 way Player.

    God Bless, still have great memories.

    [/QUOTE] Morning BSu..man, he could go get em'....and smooth as hell...


     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from crazyworldoftroybrown. Show crazyworldoftroybrown's posts

    Re: Former O's CF Paul Blair dead at 69

    You betcha Jete, just calculated his old salary to todays standards, he made 1,704,706 for his career.
    Just his Defense alone today was worth 5 million a year, easy.
    Really, feel sorry for his family at this time.

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from hill55. Show hill55's posts

    Re: Former O's CF Paul Blair dead at 69

    In the second MLB game I ever saw, Paul  Blair hit third in the Oriole lineup, behind Luis Aparicio and ahead of Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson, Boog Powell and Davey Johnson:

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/MIN/MIN196708310.shtml

    Nice lineup.

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from jete02fan. Show jete02fan's posts

    Re: Former O's CF Paul Blair dead at 69

    In response to hill55's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In the second MLB game I ever saw, Paul  Blair hit third in the Oriole lineup, behind Luis Aparicio and ahead of Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson, Boog Powell and Davey Johnson:

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/MIN/MIN196708310.shtml

    Nice lineup.

    [/QUOTE] hey Hill, just looked at the box...man, even though they lost.Davey Johnson had a good game


     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from pinstripezac35. Show pinstripezac35's posts

    Re: Former O's CF Paul Blair dead at 69

    In response to hill55's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In the second MLB game I ever saw, Paul  Blair hit third in the Oriole lineup, behind Luis Aparicio and ahead of Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson, Boog Powell and Davey Johnson:

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/MIN/MIN196708310.shtml

    Nice lineup.

    [/QUOTE]

    who knew

    I didn't

    remember him most for the way he went back on balls after playing so shallow

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from jete02fan. Show jete02fan's posts

    Re: Former O's CF Paul Blair dead at 69

    he beat the Dodgers with a 12th inning walkoff single in G1 of the 77' WS..

     
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  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from notin. Show notin's posts

    Re: Former O's CF Paul Blair dead at 69

    In response to crazyworldoftroybrown's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Played the shallowest CF I ever saw. Growing up simply the Best Defensive CF in my time. After he got hit in Head, wasn't the same batter, before that he was great 2 way Player.

    God Bless, still have great memories.

    [/QUOTE]

    Two guys who rivaled his shallowness in CF were Lee Mazzilli (Mets) and Terry Puhl (Astros).

     

     

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from hill55. Show hill55's posts

    Re: Former O's CF Paul Blair dead at 69

    In response to jete02fan's comment:

    In response to hill55's comment:

    hey Hill, just looked at the box...man, even though they lost.Davey Johnson had a good game

    That box score shows five Hall of Famers -- Luis Aparicio, Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson, Rod Carew and Harmon Killebrew -- with a complement of good players in Paul Blair, Boog Powell, Davey Johnson and Tony Oliva.

    I also saw Davey Johnson six years later in a game that featured Hall of Famers Willie Mays and Hank Aaron and managed by Hall of Famers Eddie Matthews and Yogi Berra:

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/NYN/NYN197307060.shtml

    Darrell Evans, Dusty Baker, Rusty Staub and Jerry Koosman also played in that 1973 game.

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from jete02fan. Show jete02fan's posts

    Re: Former O's CF Paul Blair dead at 69

    In response to hill55's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to jete02fan's comment:

    In response to hill55's comment:

    hey Hill, just looked at the box...man, even though they lost.Davey Johnson had a good game

    That box score shows five Hall of Famers -- Luis Aparicio, Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson, Rod Carew and Harmon Killebrew -- with a complement of good players in Paul Blair, Boog Powell, Davey Johnson and Tony Oliva.

    I also saw Davey Johnson six years later in a game that featured Hall of Famers Willie Mays and Hank Aaron and managed by Hall of Famers Eddie Matthews and Yogi Berra:

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/NYN/NYN197307060.shtml

    Darrell Evans, Dusty Baker, Rusty Staub and Jerry Koosman also played in that 1973 game.

    [/QUOTE] wow..didn't even think about that..


     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from ThatWasMe. Show ThatWasMe's posts

    Re: Former O's CF Paul Blair dead at 69

    What a great outfielder. So quick and smooth, he made everything hit to the outfield look easy. Will be missed but will not be forgotten.

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from nhsteven. Show nhsteven's posts

    Re: Former O's CF Paul Blair dead at 69

    On the '77 NYY, I went to a game where, playing shallow, he ran full speed back to the ball and at the wall - which was deeper then;  perhaps made the greatest catch I've ever seen live; at that point, he was a step slower as well. He was probably in the same class defensively as Mays, Flood, Geronimo, a young Lynn, a young Piersall, Ashburn, Puckett, Hunter, Speaker, DiMag- both, and Edmonds. On 2nd thought, perhaps only Mays was better.

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from notin. Show notin's posts

    Re: Former O's CF Paul Blair dead at 69

    Only Mays? 

     

    It's easy to forget one of the best because he turned into such an overpaid, apathetic cow, but thr failure to scknowledge Andruw Jones and his early onset defensive brilliance does compromise your list...

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from crazyworldoftroybrown. Show crazyworldoftroybrown's posts

    Re: Former O's CF Paul Blair dead at 69

    Tony Oliva is NOT in the HOF? You kidding me? He was not a good RF, he was a Great RF. What the heck is going on, Batting titles, ROY, Slugging %, these writers are crazy if he is not in. I took it for granted.
    Sorry I went off the tangent.

     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from nhsteven. Show nhsteven's posts

    Re: Former O's CF Paul Blair dead at 69

    In response to notin's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Only Mays? 

     

    It's easy to forget one of the best because he turned into such an overpaid, apathetic cow, but thr failure to scknowledge Andruw Jones and his early onset defensive brilliance does compromise your list...

    [/QUOTE]

    I forgot him; but I would still take Blair.

     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from jete02fan. Show jete02fan's posts

    Re: Former O's CF Paul Blair dead at 69

    In response to nhsteven's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    On the '77 NYY, I went to a game where, playing shallow, he ran full speed back to the ball and at the wall - which was deeper then;  perhaps made the greatest catch I've ever seen live; at that point, he was a step slower as well. He was probably in the same class defensively as Mays, Flood, Geronimo, a young Lynn, a young Piersall, Ashburn, Puckett, Hunter, Speaker, DiMag- both, and Edmonds. On 2nd thought, perhaps only Mays was better.

    [/QUOTE] i think we can throw Devon White in there too..


     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from jete02fan. Show jete02fan's posts

    Re: Former O's CF Paul Blair dead at 69

    IMO, a tribute to Blair, that he remains in the convo of a long list of truly great CF's...

     

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