Blair was taking part in a Celebrity bowling event in Pikesville, MD where he collapsed.
You hear from guys today and past players that talk about the Oriole way of playing baseball, well Blair personified that. The fleet footed centerfielder played the first 13 seasons of his big league career in the Orange and Black and won eight Gold Gloves with the Birds.
Success? Yeah Blair was a part of that as he was part of the 1966, '69, '70, and '71 American League Pennant winning Baltimore teams, which included two World Series titles, one in 1966 and the other in '70. Blair also won two World Series rings with the New York Yankees in the latter part of his career.
He was a two-time All Star and at one point won seven straight Gold Gloves, eight total, which is second most in franchise history, trailing only Brooks Robinson's 16. Blair posted a career .250 average with a .302 OBP, 134 homers, 620 RBI, 171 stolen bases, 282 doubles and 55 triples. In 1967 Blair led the league with 12 triples that season and in 1969 he hit a career high 26 home runs for the Birds.
Orioles great Jim Palmer once said that he got away with a lot of his mistakes because Blair was able to run them down.
Yankees fans may remember Blair more for the damage he did against the Yankees and for being the guy who Billy Martin sent out to right field to replace Reggie Jackson at Fenway Park in 1977 in that famous incident.
There are not enough words to describe the defensive player Blair was, and nowhere near the words to describe the man he was.
Blair was inducted into the Orioles Hall of Fame in 1984.
He will be truly missed by all Orioles fans, and anyone that ever had the privilege of meeting him. We send our condolences to his family and friends.
Paul L. D. Blair
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