Former Baltimore Orioles’ gold glove centerfielder Paul Blair passed away last night, at the age of 69. Blair was playing in a celebrity bowling tournament in Pikesville, MD, and dropped dead after complaining that he “felt funny.” Blair was already having some health issues, having suffered a heart attack a few days ago. Blair spent his first 13 seasons in the major leagues with the Orioles, winning two titles and appearing in four world series’. (He would also go on to win two more titles with the New York Yankees.) Blair was a seven-time gold glove winner, winning all seven of them in a row from 1969-’75.
Blair is considered one of the best centerfielders of all-time, and certainly the best in Oriole history.
The past few years have not been kind to the old-time Orioles, as the fan base has suffered through the losses of Mike Cuellar, Mike Flanagan, Earl Weaver, and now Blair. However I feel that it also gives the fans a moment to take pause and to remember how great each player was in his own right, and by extension how great all of those teams were. Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced for Blair, however I hope that all readers will join me in expressing my deepest of condolences to all who knew and loved him.