Orioles great Paul Blair dead at 69

Dec. 28, 2013 at 10:14 AM
share with facebook
share with twitter

BALTIMORE, Dec. 28 (UPI) -- Former Baltimore Orioles center fielder Paul Blair died after collapsing at a bowling tournament in Baltimore, his family said. He was 69.

Blair played on four World Series championship teams -- twice with the Orioles and twice with the New York Yankees -- and won eight Gold Gloves for his exceptional defensive play.

Gloria Blair told the Baltimore Sun her husband, who had survived a heart attack in 2009, collapsed during a charity bowling event and died Thursday.

A spokesman for Sinai Hospital in Baltimore confirmed Blair's death but did not list a cause, the New York Times said Saturday.

Blair was a fixture in center field for the Orioles from 1965-1976. His range and keen sense of where the ball was going led Manager Earl Weaver to remark that Blair never made a spectacular catch in center because he never had to -- he was usually in position to make the play look routine.

Blair came off the bench for the Yankees in the 1977 and 1978 World Series seasons. Although never a prolific hitter, his walk-off single in the 12th inning lifted the Yanks to a win in Game One of the 1977 series against the Dodgers.

After retiring in 1980, Blair had stints as the baseball coach at Fordham and Coppin State Universities.

Related UPI Stories
Trending Stories