BALTIMORE -- Paul Blair, the eight-time Gold Glove centre fielder who helped the Baltimore Orioles win a pair of World Series titles while gliding to make catches that former teammates still marvel at more than four decades later, has died. He was 69. Blair died Thursday night at Sinai Hospital of Baltimore, according to a hospital spokeswoman. Blairs wife, Gloria, told The Baltimore Sun, that Blair played a round of golf with friends Thursday morning and later lost consciousness at a celebrity bowling tournament in Pikesville. "Paul was honestly too tired, but he never says no," Gloria Blair told the newspaper. "During a practice round, he threw two or three balls, then sat down and told a friend, I feel funny and kind of collapsed. He lost consciousness and they called 911 and the ambulance took him to (Sinai), but the doctors there told me they never got a pulse." A member of the Orioles Hall of Fame, the popular Blair patrolled the outfield from 1964-76, playing key parts when Baltimore won its first two World Series crowns in 1966 and 1970. He won two more titles with the New York Yankees in 1977 and 1978 and also played for Cincinnati. In an era before highlight reels were a daily staple on TV, Blair frequently made catches that became the talk of baseball. Thin and quick, he played with a flair -- at the end of an inning, he would tuck his glove up against his chest for a regal trot back to the dugout. "He played very shallow. People talked about how Willie Mays played shallow, and Paul did the same thing. He played with assuredness," Don Buford, an All-Star left fielder who played alongside Blair for five seasons in Baltimore, told The Associated Press late Thursday night. "When you talk about the greatest defensive centre fielders, he was right in the mix," Buford said. "With me in left and Frank Robinson in right, we played toward the lines and gave him a lot of room. He could really go get it." In 17 seasons in the majors, he hit .250 with 134 home runs, 620 RBIs and 171 stolen bases. Blair appeared in six World Series, two All-Star games and won Gold Gloves in 1967 and 1969-75. In the 1966 World Series, Blair homered for the only run in Baltimores Game 3 victory over Los Angeles. The underdog Orioles completed an unlikely sweep the next day, with Blair jumping high above the fence at Memorial Stadium to snare Jim Lefebvres bid for a tying home run in the eighth inning. It was a timely grab, too -- Blair had just been inserted in the game as a defensive replacement. Blair caught a routine fly by Lou Johnson with two runners on base for the final out in a 1-0 victory in Game 4, and leaped high in the air after the clinching grab to begin Baltimores celebration. Blair led the Orioles in the 1970 World Series with a .474 average in Baltimores five-game victory over Cincinnati. That year, he hit three home runs and had six RBIs in a game against the Chicago White Sox. Beaned by a pitch in late May that season, Blair came back from the injury to boost the Birds. Ever mindful of being hit in the face, he would shield his face at first base when retreating to the bag on pickoff throws. "It affected his hitting a little bit after that, but not his fielding," Buford said. Inducted into the Orioles Hall of Fame in 1984, Blair coached Fordham in 1983 and at Coppin State from 1998-2002. He had a heart attack in December 2009. Blair played baseball and basketball and ran track at Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles. Blair was originally drafted by the New York Mets and spent one season in their minor league system. The Orioles drafted him from the Mets in late 1962. He fit neatly into a team built on strong defence -- led by third baseman Brooks Robinson -- and pitching, and Baltimore reached the World Series four times in six years. He was surrounded by stars, yet a picture or drawing of Blair often made the cover of the Orioles game programs. Friendly in the clubhouse, he was called "Motormouth" for his constant banter. "Hed be talking about something, and maybe youd get two words in, and then hed be off starting another conversation," Buford recalled. cheap jerseys
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. Jagr, the NHLs active leader in goals, assists and points, had a hand in all four goals for Dallas. Ray Whitney, Phoenixs leading scorer last season, scored a goal in the first game against his former team.ATLANTA - The Braves needed some good news. Tim Hudson delivered. Hudson gave the ailing rotation a lift and Atlanta got home runs from Brian McCann and Chipper Jones in a 5-2 victory over the Washington Nationals on Thursday night. The Braves are 8 1-2 games ahead of St. Louis in the NL wild-card race but face growing concerns about the health of their starting pitchers. Right-hander Jair Jurrjens said Thursday an MRI on his sore right knee showed a bone bruise and he plans to see orthopedic specialist Dr. Richard Steadman in Vail, Colo., on Friday. Jurrjens could join right-hander Tommy Hanson (sore right shoulder) on the disabled list. "It is a concern, sure," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "You want to make sure (Jurrjens) is healthy." Hudson provided a reminder he can join Derek Lowe as the veteran leaders of a staff that also includes rookie Brandon Beachy in the final month of the regular season. Hudson (14-8) allowed one run and five hits in six innings while passing Jurrjens for the team lead in wins. The right-hander improved to 5-1 with a 2.03 earned-run average in his last seven starts. "I think were so deep in the staff, if we had to go into the post-season with D-Lowe and Huddy and Beachy, were OK with that," Jones said. Jonny Venters yielded a run in the eighth before striking out two batters with the bases loaded. Craig Kimbrel gave up a single to Wilson Ramos but struck out the side in the ninth for his 42nd save, extending the major league rookie record he set Wednesday night. Hudson wasnt happy when he was lifted for pinch-hitter Matt Diaz with two outs and two runners on base in the bottom of the sixth. "To be honest with you, I was going to try to hit a three-run homer," Hudson said. Hudson acknowledged he never wants to come out of games "regardless of if Im pitching well or giving it up." He leads the Braves with 183 innings pitched. "My innings have gotten to a pretty high number, so it might be smart at this point of the year to start backing off and saving it for the stretch," Hudson said. Nationals manager Davey Johnson said the right-hander was "the usual Tim Hudson." "Didnt give in," Johnson said. "Kept his team in the game." Chien-Ming Wang (2-3) gave up four runs and seven hits in 5 2-3 inningss for Washington, which has lost eight of nine.dddddddddddd McCann hit his 23rd homer in the first inning. Jones, who hit his 450th career homer on Wednesday night, went deep in the second. Jayson Werth led off the sixth with a long homer to left. Atlanta led 4-1 before Washington rallied in the eighth. With one out and the bases loaded, Michael Morse hit a grounder to third baseman Jones, who dropped the ball for an error as he was preparing to throw to second to start a possible double play. Jonny Gomes, who reached on an infield single, scored from third. Venters, who issued two walks in the inning, then struck out pinch-hitter Jesus Flores and Danny Espinosa to end the threat. "Hes a heck of a pitcher," Johnson said of Venters. "Hes had a heck of a year. I thought Flores had some pitches to hit. Hes usually pretty good in that situation. We just didnt get it done. Its been kind of the same song all year long. "We battled. We got to the point where we got a chance to do something. We just didnt do it." Washington right-fielder Laynce Nix left the game in the third inning after straining his right groin. Johnson said Nix "will be out for a while" because groin injuries take time to heal. Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman did not start due to a sore right quadriceps muscle. Eric Hinske filled in for Freeman and had a run-scoring single in the fourth. Freeman replaced Hinske in the seventh. Dan Uggla doubled off Wang in the sixth and scored on a single by Alex Gonzalez. Jason Heyward hit a triple off Tyler Clippard in the eighth and scored on Gonzalezs sacrifice fly. NOTES: The Braves recalled C J.C. Boscan and RHP Anthony Varvaro from triple-A Gwinnett. ... Braves INF Jack Wilson, acquired from Seattle on Wednesday night for a player to be named and cash, joined the team. Wilson is on the 15-day disabled list with a bruised left heel and is eligible to be activated on Friday. ... LHP Dustin Richardson was designated for assignment to make room for Wilson. ... Braves rookie Brandon Beachy will face Dodgers right-hander Chad Billingsley in the first game of a weekend series on Friday night. ... The Nationals will open a home series against the Mets on Friday night. LHP Ross Detwiler will face New York knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. ' ' '