One of baseball’s best defensive center fielders of all time Paul Blair died of a heart attack while bowling last night in Baltimore. Blair was an eight time gold glove winning center fielder for the Baltimore Orioles and one of the most talented men to ever play the game.
A member of the Orioles Hall of Fame, and a fan favorite, Blair was a star in the Baltimore outfield from 1964 to 1976, playing a key roll when the Orioles won their first two World Series crowns in 1966 and 1970. He won two more titles with the New York Yankees in 1977 and 1978, and also played for Cincinnati.
In a time before SportsCenter, Blair frequently made catches that became the talk of baseball. He was a thin man with great speed and he played with flair — at the end of an inning, he would tuck his glove up against his chest for a regal trot back to the dugout.
In 17 seasons in the majors, Blair hit .250 with 134 home runs, 620 RBIs and 171 stolen bases. Blair appeared in six World Series and two All-Star Games, and won Gold Gloves in 1967 and from 1969 to 1975.