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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Former Orioles center fielder Paul Blair dies

RIP, Paul Blair. You had to be there…

I have the unfortunate task of passing along news that former Orioles center fielder Paul Blair died tonight.

From what I understand, Blair collapsed in a Pikesville bowling alley. He was 69.

Blair played his first 13 seasons with the Orioles and was part of the 1966, ‘69, ‘70 and ‘71 World Series teams. He won two titles with the Orioles and two more with the Yankees.

Blair won eight Gold Gloves and was named to the American League’s All-Star team in 1969 and 1973. His final season came in 1980 with the Yankees.

Repoz Posted: December 26, 2013 at 10:42 PM | 64 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: orioles

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   1. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: December 26, 2013 at 10:48 PM (#4624452)
If you spoonerize his name, it's his profession.
   2. ursus arctos Posted: December 26, 2013 at 11:18 PM (#4624467)
Desperately sad. Such an elegant fielde. He made it look much, much easier than it is.
   3. Morty Causa Posted: December 26, 2013 at 11:29 PM (#4624472)
What a great center fielder. A shame, that beaning. I know he always claimed it didn't affect his hitting, but you don't get over something like that any more than you get over getting shot. It's always got to be in your subconscious.
   4. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 26, 2013 at 11:34 PM (#4624475)
Jeez, Blair was only five months older than I am. Until I read the part about his blocked coronary artery I was half expecting his death to have been related to that horrible beaning that eventually sent his career into a downward spiral. He tried hypnotism to surmount the fear, but it only had a temporary effect, and he was never quite the same.

One of the greatest defensive outfielders I've ever seen, and what a horrible thing to see him pass so young.
   5. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: December 26, 2013 at 11:38 PM (#4624480)
wow--just wow--& I agree with Andy--one of the best ever
   6. Morty Causa Posted: December 26, 2013 at 11:41 PM (#4624482)
I loved watching Blair (and Piersall, too, who is 84!) play center. So graceful, so sure, doing all the little things with a precious precision.
   7. Morty Causa Posted: December 26, 2013 at 11:43 PM (#4624483)
Man, was that late '60s, early '70s Oriole team defense-minded?
   8. Tim D Posted: December 26, 2013 at 11:45 PM (#4624485)
Perhaps the best defensive team ever with Blair, Brooks, Belanger and Grich. They just smothered the opposition. Blair was an all-timer. RIP Paul.
   9. Danko Posted: December 26, 2013 at 11:56 PM (#4624491)
The 1970 Orioles never get brought up in the occasional 'Best Team Ever' discussions, but they really deserve it. 108-54 regular season. 7-1 playoff and World Series run. Everyday lineup awesome both offensively and defensively. Three 20-game winners, and not a single start coming from a player with an ERA+ under 100.

I'm not quite sure why they get overlooked the way they do -- they have the Hall of Famers (F. Robby, B. Robby, Palmer, Weaver) and they have the pedigree. They seem to be punished for (a) lacking any flashy individual statistics, (b) blending in with a sea of general excellence from the Weaver Orioles, (c) the failure of the '69 Orioles in the World Series and (d) being from Baltimore. But they were a hell of team.
   10. Mickey Henry Mays Posted: December 26, 2013 at 11:57 PM (#4624492)
There'll always be a place in Yankee heaven for Mr. Blair. Game 1, 1978 WS, game winning hit bottom of the 12th. Like it was yesterday.
   11. Morty Causa Posted: December 26, 2013 at 11:58 PM (#4624493)
And some other guys in the supporting cast could field their position, too. At their best they could hit, too. Weaver insisted on having players that could do both. Except for poor Belanger--but he, too, like Blair, was other-worldly with the glove. If Mark could have hit merely decently for a shortstop, he could have played more and stuck around longer and would have outstripped Ozzie as the career defensive shortstop of all time.
   12. Morty Causa Posted: December 27, 2013 at 12:02 AM (#4624495)
9:

I agree. Those are overlooked because they lost some World Series they were favored to win. But the '69-71 teams are really great.
   13. Bruce Markusen Posted: December 27, 2013 at 12:22 AM (#4624502)
The best defensive center fielder I saw. Granted, I only saw Mays toward the end, but Blair was better than Jim Edmonds, Devon White, Garry Maddox, and anyone else I had the privilege of watching. They were all great, but Blair had a bit more range and went back on the ball better than anyone.

He was built like a shortstop, a whippet at six feet and about 160 pounds, and could just accelerate so well with that high-stepping style of running he had.

Without a doubt, that beanball affected him. He was never the same offensively, and bailed out noticeably toward the third base dugout. But he was so good in the field and on the bases that the Orioles didn't seem to mind.

Beyond that, Blair was a great interview subject. He was called "Motormouth" for good reason; he could talk and talk and talk, but he usually had something worthwhile to say.
   14. Gamingboy Posted: December 27, 2013 at 12:26 AM (#4624505)
Behind only Andruw Jones for dWAR as an OF. Let that sink in: By defensive WAR, he was a better fielder than Willie Flipping Mays.
   15. Mickey Henry Mays Posted: December 27, 2013 at 12:31 AM (#4624507)
The '69 team was really great. They had 779-517 run differential for 110-52 Pythagorian record which was actually better then their real record which is pretty hard to do when your 109-53. They had 119 OPS+ and 126 ERA+ 114 fielding runs and a 11.5 dWAR.
Had they won the World Series they would have a legitimate claim as the greatest team of alltime.
   16. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 27, 2013 at 12:53 AM (#4624512)
The 1970 Orioles never get brought up in the occasional 'Best Team Ever' discussions, but they really deserve it. 108-54 regular season. 7-1 playoff and World Series run. Everyday lineup awesome both offensively and defensively. Three 20-game winners, and not a single start coming from a player with an ERA+ under 100.

I'm not quite sure why they get overlooked the way they do -- they have the Hall of Famers (F. Robby, B. Robby, Palmer, Weaver) and they have the pedigree. They seem to be punished for (a) lacking any flashy individual statistics, (b) blending in with a sea of general excellence from the Weaver Orioles, (c) the failure of the '69 Orioles in the World Series and (d) being from Baltimore. But they were a hell of team.


It was the two surrounding losses that really hurt the O's rep, especially so because they were big favorites against both the Mets and the Pirates. That 1971 Series was particularly painful, since the O's won the first two games easily and then just went into a complete five game batting funk, scoring only 8 runs. No great regular season record is ever going to erase the memories of that monumental collapse.

---------------------------------------------

There'll always be a place in Yankee heaven for Mr. Blair. Game 1, 1978 WS, game winning hit bottom of the 12th. Like it was yesterday.

And for extra drama, the hit came at the stroke of midnight. "Mr. Midnight" was one of his several nicknames, though that one didn't last all that long.
   17. Jason Michael(s) Bourn Identity Crisis Posted: December 27, 2013 at 01:05 AM (#4624517)
I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Blair in 1990 or so, when he was touring with a bunch of old-timers in Seoul, Korea (including Belanger, to name one). I, as an impetuous 9 y/o, walked up to the signing table after the game, and uttered the question "didn't they used to call you 'motor mouth?'" (I played and still play a lot of APBA baseball, and player nicknames were printed on the cards). He looked me in the eye, and replied in an even tone, "son, I was as quiet as a mouse." The players to either side started laughing hysterically, and all Blair did was smile a bit and wink to me. I still have that ball somewhere, though several of the names have faded. I will never forget that moment, though.

I think that is where I really fell in love with the game. Godspeed, sir.
   18. Morty Causa Posted: December 27, 2013 at 01:13 AM (#4624518)
Nice.
   19. Swoboda is freedom Posted: December 27, 2013 at 01:28 AM (#4624522)
RIP Mr. Blair. We know one thing. His grave will be very shallow.
   20. Walt Davis Posted: December 27, 2013 at 02:11 AM (#4624524)
Yeah, he was something and probably my favorite on those great Oriole teams.

I'm not quite sure why they get overlooked the way they do -- they have the Hall of Famers (F. Robby, B. Robby, Palmer, Weaver) and they have the pedigree. They seem to be punished for (a) lacking any flashy individual statistics, (b) blending in with a sea of general excellence from the Weaver Orioles, (c) the failure of the '69 Orioles in the World Series and (d) being from Baltimore. But they were a hell of team.

A good question. Occasionally we discuss such topics and inevitably somebody will suggest the 2001 M's and I will pontificate about how that was a good team that got incredibly lucky, not a great team, as evidenced by their 91 wins the year before and 93 wins the year after and the number of career years.

Those O's teams though -- 109 followed by 108 followed by 101. That was a GREAT team.
   21. Yastrzemski in left. Posted: December 27, 2013 at 03:10 AM (#4624531)
RIP, Mr.Blair. You were in every pack of baseball cards I bought throughout the 1970's. I feel like I knew you well. Here's to your 17 yr. MLB career.
   22. rlc Posted: December 27, 2013 at 04:21 AM (#4624536)
I suspect the O's failure to win the Series in either '69 or '71 is magnified by the fact that they were immediately succeeded by three different repeat champions in the A's, Reds, and Yankees. Hard to be considered the greatest dynasty of all time when you don't even look like the best dynasty of your own decade. When the '66 team is added in, though, it starts to sound better: four pennants and two championships in six years is not chopped liver.
   23. Matt Welch Posted: December 27, 2013 at 04:45 AM (#4624538)
Their analog is the 1988-90 A's, no? Only better.
   24. AndrewJ Posted: December 27, 2013 at 07:08 AM (#4624547)
Died the same year as Earl Weaver. Way too soon.
   25. tfbg9 Posted: December 27, 2013 at 09:52 AM (#4624556)
@#10: it was the 1977 WS, but yeah.
   26. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: December 27, 2013 at 10:11 AM (#4624562)
The rumor making its way around the diamond was he was in attendance for our Little League Opening Day ceremony, which would have been around 78-79, because he had a son or nephew playing. We were all pretty excited, but if it was true, I never verified it.

RIP Paul.

   27. AROM Posted: December 27, 2013 at 10:26 AM (#4624563)
Didn't Bill James rank the greatest teams in one of his books, and have the ~1970 Orioles high in there? Probably the Historical Abstract, but it might have been another book.

I don't remember watching Paul Blair play, but I imagine he must have been to Baltimore in the 70's what Devon White was to the 1990's Blue Jays.

For a multiyear stretch that team was the greatest defensive team to ever take the field. It's pretty much impossible to replicate, as you need at least a top 5 SS, a top 5 3B, and a top 5 CF all in their primes at once. And I don't mean top 5 in the way that "Evan Longoria is one of the top 5 defensive 3B today", but top 5 all time. And that's just a hedge. Those 3 may well have each been the best fielders ever at their positions.

Fielding didn't get the credit due until recently. Sure, you didn't need any fielding stats to tell you that those Orioles were great, it's part of the team description "pitching, defense, and 3 run homers". But until you can quantify that, it's hard to properly rank a great defensive team the same way you can rank a great offensive team like the 27 Yankees.

Offensively, they led the league in runs scored, but did it with a balanced offense. Boog (35, 114) was the only player to top 30 homers and 100 RBI. Frank Rob (.306) was the only regular to hit over .300. They had 3 20 game winners, each of them with 39-40 starts and 290+ innings, but nobody to blow you away like Koufax or Gibson did. Palmer had the fastball and might have been able to rack up more strikeouts, but pitching to contact worked well with this team so you might as well stick to that. The defense is where they were historically great.
   28. Morty Causa Posted: December 27, 2013 at 10:28 AM (#4624564)
When you add the Orioles division wins in '73-'74, that's a good run of real excellence. But it is true that no matter how great a team you are, you have to win it all to be accepted as a truly great team. And because the World Series is played differently than the regular season in that you only need and generally only use your top of the line front line, a team that is overall inferior may prevail because that frontline is good enough (and the rest don't matter).
   29. Mickey Henry Mays Posted: December 27, 2013 at 10:33 AM (#4624568)
@#10: it was the 1977 WS, but yeah.


Probably should have looked it up. So I guess it was more like the day before yesterday.
   30. Morty Causa Posted: December 27, 2013 at 10:40 AM (#4624569)
Weaver is famous for saying winning in baseball is pitching, fundamentals on defense, and three-run homers, but he also clarified that what people thought of as fundamentals was simply choosing players who could execute. That was the Orioles, and Robinson, Belanger, and Blair epitomized this.
   31. booond Posted: December 27, 2013 at 10:53 AM (#4624576)
The Orioles of '69 and '71 are the opponents in historical footnotes. The Mets beat them as did Roberto Clemente.

   32. tfbg9 Posted: December 27, 2013 at 10:56 AM (#4624579)
"Hall of Fame? For what? Screwin' up the World Series?!?"
   33. Rennie's Tenet Posted: December 27, 2013 at 11:05 AM (#4624586)
And because the World Series is played differently than the regular season in that you only need and generally only use your top of the line front line, a team that is overall inferior may prevail because that frontline is good enough (and the rest don't matter).


Not to dispute the general rule, but the Pirates used 6 different starting pitchers in the 1971 Series, and still had Bruce Kison in the hole for 6 1/3 innings of scoreless relief in Game 4.
   34. Brian Posted: December 27, 2013 at 11:10 AM (#4624587)
Didn't Bill James rank the greatest teams in one of his books, and have the ~1970 Orioles high in there? Probably the Historical Abstract, but it might have been another book.


Are you thinking of Rob Neyer's book, Baseball Dynasties?

http://www.amazon.com/Baseball-Dynasties-Greatest-Teams-Time/dp/0393320081/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1388156906&sr=8-5&keywords=rob+neyer
   35. dejarouehg Posted: December 27, 2013 at 11:12 AM (#4624589)
A magnificent and underappreciated player!!!

Behind only Andruw Jones for dWAR as an OF. Let that sink in: By defensive WAR, he was a better fielder than Willie Flipping Mays.
Then you should need no further proof that dWAR is a flawed metric.
   36. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: December 27, 2013 at 11:22 AM (#4624595)
And because the World Series is played differently than the regular season in that you only need and generally only use your top of the line front line, a team that is overall inferior may prevail because that frontline is good enough (and the rest don't matter).


Not to dispute the general rule, but the Pirates used 6 different starting pitchers in the 1971 Series, and still had Bruce Kison in the hole for 6 1/3 innings of scoreless relief in Game 4.

The Yankees finished up the 1956 Series with 5 different starting pitchers.

The first one was knocked out in game 1, and came back to win game 3 on two days' rest.

The second one made his first World Series start in game 4, and also won.

The third one was clobbered in game 2, and came back on two days' rest to pitch a perfect game in game 5.

The fourth one lost a 10-inning 1-0 game 6, on a misplayed line drive that was lost in the Sun.

And the fifth one pitched a 3-hit shutout in game 7, in the only World Series start of his career.

Five games, five different pitchers, five complete games, 6 runs and 4 wins.
   37. Mickey Henry Mays Posted: December 27, 2013 at 11:23 AM (#4624596)
Then you should need no further proof that dWAR is a flawed metric.


Why can't that be true? Willie, as great as he was in the field, is in the HOF for his bat.
   38. Charles S. will not yield to this monkey court Posted: December 27, 2013 at 11:26 AM (#4624599)
For me growing up in the 70s, baseball was a radio sport so I have little memory of "seeing" Paul Blair play, but in my mind's eye, I certainly have the image of a little guy lined up too shallow in center just catching everything. When my Red Sox would hit a ball into the outfield, and Ned Martin (or whoever) would say "Blair, on his horse...", I knew that was not going to be a hit.
   39. yo la tengo Posted: December 27, 2013 at 11:56 AM (#4624619)
Joe Pos wrote a nice, but brief, piece about Blair at http://joeposnanski.com/joeblogs/rip-paul-blair/
   40. puck Posted: December 27, 2013 at 12:27 PM (#4624641)
Never saw him field. Which I really regret.
   41. Tim D Posted: December 27, 2013 at 12:28 PM (#4624642)
Re: #38, it was the same in Detroit; Kaline or Cash or Horton or Freehan would hit the crap out of one and you would hear Ernie Harwell calling "Blair goes back, back, back and makes a great catch." Over and over again.
   42. Bob Tufts Posted: December 27, 2013 at 12:32 PM (#4624646)
The Orioles and Cardinals of the 60's and early 70's produced some interesting players.

And I did not know he was originally signed by the Mets: (per BBRef)

July 20, 1961: Signed by the New York Mets as an amateur free agent.
November 26, 1962: Drafted by the Baltimore Orioles from the New York Mets in the 1962 first-year draft.


Anyone know how that 1962 draft operated? Odd that the Mets would lose a player....
   43. AROM Posted: December 27, 2013 at 12:43 PM (#4624655)
Bob, looks like something similar to the rule 5 draft, they didn't put him on the 40 man roster and the Orioles grabbed him.

http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/paul-blair-the-met-who-got-away.html
   44. Brian Posted: December 27, 2013 at 12:50 PM (#4624663)
I remember seeing Blair make an over-the-head catch in Yankee Stadium in 1975-76. I remember thinking that it was better than Mays catch (no throw included) and if it was the World Series and not a weeknight game in the middle of the season people would never stop talking about it. It was over his head and he never looked over either shoulder, just leaned his head back a lttle at the end and stabbed it as came by him. Unbelievable play.
   45. AROM Posted: December 27, 2013 at 12:52 PM (#4624668)
I love getting sidetracked on BBref. Start with Paul Blair, then look up his stat line for the one year he was in the Met's organization. Hit .228, struck out 147 times in 122 games. But only 18, hit 17 homers, took 54 walks, too early to right him off.

Then I wonder, how good was the league? Who else was in it? Blair was the only player from that Santa Barbara team to make the majors. Clicking on the league page and batting leaders, Davey Johnson and Jim Lefebvre stand out. There's also a guy named "Lefty Izquierdo". Never made the big leagues. His last name, in Spanish, means "left". He was right handed.
   46. Bob Tufts Posted: December 27, 2013 at 01:16 PM (#4624688)
AROM - thanks for the link.
   47. depletion Posted: December 27, 2013 at 01:18 PM (#4624689)
The first time I heard of him was listening to Game 1 1969 WS in sunny Cape Cod. I was so bummed that Buford lead off that half inning with a home run. A great career. My condolences to Mr. Blair's family and friends.
   48. Tim D Posted: December 27, 2013 at 01:58 PM (#4624715)
I saw Blair play quite a bit, both live in Detroit and on TV when the Tigers went to Baltimore. He would play in so shallow he almost looked like a 5th IF, because he could go back so well. Dead center in Tiger Stadium was 440' with the flag pole in play. Blair might have cheated a step or two back, but you couldn't see it with the naked eye. Nothing fell in front of him because he was so close, and even in Detroit it was hard to hit one over his head. Tiger fans liked to think Mickey Stanley was the best AL CF, and he did win 4 GGs (NWS dWAR which saw him as no more than average). But there was really no comparison; Stanley was good, Blair was great.
   49. Chone Mueller Posted: December 27, 2013 at 02:33 PM (#4624734)
I couldn't help looking him up on the USBC website. There is a Paul Blair listed who has been bowling at the AMF in Pikesville and in the greater Baltimore areas for several years. He's been carrying an average in the 180s-190s. That would have been so cool to bowl in a league with Paul Blair. I wonder if he bowled any duckpin.
   50. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: December 27, 2013 at 03:35 PM (#4624775)
Blair was the last player to reach base against Sandy Koufax. Koufax intentionally walked him, and then Andy Etchebarren hit into a double play in Game 2 of the 1966 World Series.
   51. Tom Nawrocki Posted: December 27, 2013 at 03:43 PM (#4624780)
If you gotta go, collapsing in a Pikesville bowling alley seems like a pretty good way to go.
   52. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: December 27, 2013 at 03:58 PM (#4624796)
Then you should need no further proof that dWAR is a flawed metric.



Why can't that be true? Willie, as great as he was in the field, is in the HOF for his bat.


Not sure which dWAR he is looking at, but in total zone runs as an OF, he's 5th behind Jones, Clemente, Bonds, and Mays. Since dWAR adds in a positional adjustment, I can see him getting past Clemente and Bonds, but Mays should still be ahead. If not, then it merely means that the positional adjustments are different, favoring Blair's era. But that doesn't make him a better defensive player. More valuable possibly, but that's not the same thing.
   53. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 27, 2013 at 04:10 PM (#4624802)
Bob, looks like something similar to the rule 5 draft, they didn't put him on the 40 man roster and the Orioles grabbed him.

http://metsmerizedonline.com/2013/12/paul-blair-the-met-who-got-away.html


Geez, imagine an early 70s Mets outfield of Amos Otis, Paul Blair, and Tommy Agee. Death to flying things indeed.
   54. vortex of dissipation Posted: December 27, 2013 at 04:39 PM (#4624823)
Geez, imagine an early 70s Mets outfield of Amos Otis, Paul Blair, and Tommy Agee. Death to flying things indeed.


Who would play where in that OF?
   55. Hang down your head, Tom Foley Posted: December 27, 2013 at 04:52 PM (#4624826)
Not sure which dWAR he is looking at, but in total zone runs as an OF, he's 5th behind Jones, Clemente, Bonds, and Mays. Since dWAR adds in a positional adjustment, I can see him getting past Clemente and Bonds, but Mays should still be ahead. If not, then it merely means that the positional adjustments are different, favoring Blair's era. But that doesn't make him a better defensive player. More valuable possibly, but that's not the same thing.


Baseball-Reference has Andruw at 24.2, Blair 18.5, and Mays 17.9. Then it's Devon White, Piersall, and Lofton. Clemente (11.9) and Jesse Barfield (11.8) are 7th and 8th, the top non-CF outfielders. Bonds is 30th.
   56. Chone Mueller Posted: December 27, 2013 at 06:07 PM (#4624873)
If you gotta go, collapsing in a Pikesville bowling alley seems like a pretty good way to go.


If you're on the way out after a great series -- not if you haven't bowled yet. I love those bowling centers in Maryland that are part standard ten-pin and part duckpin. I made an eastern trip a couple of years ago during which I sampled duckpin (College Park, MD), candlepin (Scarborough, ME), and five-pin (Ottawa, ON). All of them were a blast. I wish we had them on the west coast.
   57. Howie Menckel Posted: December 27, 2013 at 06:21 PM (#4624878)

I recently got a Paul Blair from the 2013 Topps set - it's him in the style of 1974 cards

http://www.sportlots.com/inven/invenbin/detail.tpl?set=87076&seq=1120&cval=0&qualval=0&seller=Flaherty&ref=GoogleAd&gclid=CPXsvK-30bsCFdBlOgod01IAPA

what's weird is that he of course was in that 1974 Topps set - but with a different photo

https://www.deanscards.com/p/95798/1974-Topps-92-Paul-Blair

Topps' idea is to have famous players placed into an out-of-era set - I have a 1972 Topps style card of Babe Ruth, for instance, which is cool (the stats on back are for career but in the same typeset and design as the 1972 backs were).

Then they also have less-remembered players, which is ok, but in the era that they actually played in, which makes no sense.

Topps does a lot of really, really dumb stuff.
   58. tfbg9 Posted: December 27, 2013 at 06:40 PM (#4624883)
Blair was the last player to reach base against Sandy Koufax. Koufax intentionally walked him, and then Andy Etchebarren hit into a double play in Game 2 of the 1966 World Series.


Pfft. Meaningless exhibition game.
   59. vivaelpujols Posted: December 27, 2013 at 08:56 PM (#4624964)
Can someone fill me in on Blair getting beaned and how it effected him?
   60. Morty Causa Posted: December 27, 2013 at 09:11 PM (#4624974)
SABR has nice outline of Blair's career, and says this about that:

In 1970, Blair had two significant events in baseball. The first could well be the best single offensive display of his career. He hit three home runs and knocked in six runs in a game on April 29, 1970, as the Orioles beat the Chicago White Sox, 18--2. The second event was career-altering. Unfortunately, in addition to his remarkable defensive prowess, Paul Blair is remembered for receiving a severe beaning by California Angels pitcher Ken Tatum on May 31, 1970. He was carried off the field with a broken nose and serious eye and facial injuries; Blair claims he never saw the pitch. He missed the next three weeks of the season but came back to play a total of 133 games that season and insists it did not affect him. Nevertheless, Blair never equaled the offensive output from his successful 1969 season. In 1971, he attempted switch-hitting, but went 11-for-57 and gave up the experiment.

Paul Blair at SABR
   61. Jay Z Posted: December 27, 2013 at 09:14 PM (#4624976)
The Yankees finished up the 1956 Series with 5 different starting pitchers.


Yes, but that was the last WS with no off days.

I guess Stengel didn't trust Ford in Ebbetts Field after getting knocked out in Game 1. Ford also pitched poorly in Ebbetts in Game 4 of the 1953 WS. Then he came back to win Game 6 in YS on one day's rest. Guess they were saving Lopat for Game 7.

In 1955 Ford didn't pitch in Ebbetts. He started Games 1 and 6 and Tommy Byrne Games 2 and 7. So the Yankees had to use 3 different starters in games 3-5, and Bob Turley only got one start. Dodgers only had about 400 ABs against lefties that year. Yankees still won 3 of the 4 Ford/Byrne games.
   62. vivaelpujols Posted: December 27, 2013 at 09:19 PM (#4624978)
Ouch, that's brutal. B-R says that he hit for a 110 OPS+ up to 1970 and a 84 OPS+ after that, wow. Of course that includes his decline phase, but even from age 27-30 he had a 101 OPS+ in what should have been his prime years.
   63. Rennie's Tenet Posted: December 28, 2013 at 12:24 AM (#4625030)
I guess Stengel didn't trust Ford in Ebbetts Field after getting knocked out in Game 1. Ford also pitched poorly in Ebbetts in Game 4 of the 1953 WS. Then he came back to win Game 6 in YS on one day's rest. Guess they were saving Lopat for Game 7.


Stengel also held Ford back to Game 3 in Yankee Stadium in 1960, so that he could only come back one more time (which had to be in Forbes). This despite the fact that Forbes had a huge left field area itself.
   64. AndrewJ Posted: December 29, 2013 at 11:47 AM (#4625570)
The Yankees finished up the 1956 Series with 5 different starting pitchers.


Yes, but that was the last WS with no off days.

Earlier this year I did an article about the 1964 Phillies and came across a wire service newspaper story from that September: The commissioner's office decreed that had the '64 Series been Phils/Yanks or Phils/Orioles, there wouldn't have been any off-days.

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NewsblogOMNICHATTER 9-21-2014
(5 - 12:10pm, Sep 21)
Last: boteman is not here 'til October

NewsblogRoyals encounter problem with online sale of playoff tickets
(21 - 12:01pm, Sep 21)
Last: SoSHially Unacceptable

NewsblogAthletics out of top wild-card spot, Texas sweeps
(11 - 11:57am, Sep 21)
Last: McCoy

NewsblogOT: Politics, September, 2014: ESPN honors Daily Worker sports editor Lester Rodney
(3403 - 11:57am, Sep 21)
Last: Greg K

NewsblogLindbergh: Where Dellin Betances’s Season Ranks Historically, and What It Teaches Us About Bullpen Strategy
(1 - 11:48am, Sep 21)
Last: jdennis

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread, September 2014
(335 - 11:46am, Sep 21)
Last: Juilin Sandar to Conkling Speedwell (Arjun)

NewsblogCameron: The Stealth MVP Candidacy of Hunter Pence
(5 - 11:42am, Sep 21)
Last: jdennis

NewsblogJohn Thorn: Fame & Fandom
(9 - 11:09am, Sep 21)
Last: Bunny Vincennes

NewsblogLindbergh: Dellin Betances’s Season & Bullpen Strategy
(5 - 10:50am, Sep 21)
Last: SoSHially Unacceptable

NewsblogOT: September 2014 College Football thread
(318 - 10:42am, Sep 21)
Last: BDC

NewsblogHBT: Talking head says Jeter is “a fraud” and “you are all suckers”
(87 - 10:38am, Sep 21)
Last: A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose)

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - September 2014
(295 - 7:40am, Sep 21)
Last: Mirabelli Dictu (Chris McClinch)

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 9-20-2014
(92 - 2:49am, Sep 21)
Last: Bunny Vincennes

NewsblogEn Banc Court May Call Foul on Bonds Conviction
(38 - 12:41am, Sep 21)
Last: David Nieporent (now, with children)

NewsblogEsquire: Martone: The Death of Derek Jeter
(312 - 9:20pm, Sep 20)
Last: Omineca Greg

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