An intuitive centerfielder whose speed going back allowed him to play unusually shallow,
the loquacious Blair won eight Gold Gloves. An Oriole from 1964 through 1976, he
finished among Baltimore's all-time top five in a dozen offensive categories. His
average was augmented by his bunting skills, and he had 171 career stolen bases.
He had his best year in 1969 (.285, 26 HR, 76 RBI). In 1970, he suffered serious
eye and facial injuries from a Ken Tatum
beaning. Lingering fear at the plate caused
him to seek help from a hypnotherapist. In 1971 he tried switch-hitting, but stopped
after going 11-57.
Blair appeared in 53 postseason games with Baltimore and the
Yankees. His 430-foot home run in Game Three of the 1966 WS gave the Orioles a 1-0
victory over the Dodgers, and he tied the record for most hits in a five-game WS,
going 9-19 (.474) in 1970. He made several sensational catches in the '66 and '70
WS and '70 LCS.