Paul Blair, former major league outfielder, has died at the age of 69

Milos Bicanski

Paul Blair, former major league outfielder, has died at the age of 69

Paul Blair, an eight-time Gold Glove centerfielder who was one of the greatest defensive outfielders to ever play the game, died of a heart attack today.  He was 69.

Blair started his career in the New York Mets organization, and then went to the Baltimore Orioles in the "1962 first year draft."  I don't know what that was.

He broke into the big leagues in 1964 as a 20 year old, and from 1965-1976 was a regular on those great Baltimore Orioles teams that gave rise to the phrase "The Oriole Way."  Blair played several seasons along with Mark Belanger and Brooks Robinson, and I doubt that a team has ever had an extended run with three better defenders than the Orioles with those three.

Blair had an eight year run, from 1967-74, where he was a legitimate star, putting up  a 37.6 bWAR and a 34.7 fWAR over that 8 year span.  He played out the string with the Yankees and the Reds as a defensive specialist, but in his prime, he was one of the top players in the game.

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