The eight-time Gold Glove winner died Thursday evening in Pikesville, Baltimore County, Maryland while participating in a celebrity bowling tournament, said his wife, Gloria Blair. He had played 18 holes of golf with friends that morning.
"Paul was honestly too tired, but he never says no," she 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."
She said he was declared dead at 6:45 p.m. at Sinai Hospital.
Blair played 17 seasons in Major League baseball, 13 of them with the Orioles from 1964 to 1970. He won two World Series in Baltimore before he was traded to the Yankees in 1977, where he was part of two more championship teams.
Before retiring in pinstripes in 1980, Blair also played briefly with the Reds in Cincinnati.
But it was Baltimore that was home, and after he retired from play, he returned to the franchise as a spring training instructor after stops coaching with the Yankees, Astros, Fordham University and the Triple A Rochester Orioles.
Al Bumbry, who replaced Blair in center field, recalled the man known as "Motormouth" with fondness.
"He was that way; he never stopped talking, and it wasn't always about baseball," Bumbry said. "I figured all the Gold Gloves he won gave him the right to talk."
"He was very humorous, so funny," he said. "Everybody loved him."