the blair paul project

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The relatively quiet walls of the Aardvark Attic of Appreciation will no longer be the same with the addition of the newest inductee… Paul “Motormouth” Blair. Given that Blair was one of my favorite Orioles when I began following professional baseball during the mid 70s, it was a bitter pill to swallow when he was traded to the Evil Empire as that decade came to an end.

After striking out in his only official at bat over 8 games played for the Birds during 1964, Blair broke into the majors in 1965, due mostly for his defensive abilities. Obviously his contributions in 1964 were enough to warrant his rookie appearance in the 1965 Topps set.

blair_paul_1965_topps_473

I recently decided to begin pulling together a set of 1965 Topps baseball cards to help commemorate the annual anniversary of my birth. I also find the 1965 set to be one of the more visually pleasing Topps sets and believe it will prove fun to accumulate. Unfortunately, I didn’t have Paul’s rookie card when I sent him a letter earlier this year. Instead, I included this 2001 Topps Archives card (no. 270) that was inspired by his rookie offering, and asked if he wouldn’t mind autographing it. Apparently he had no issues with my request.

blair_paul_2001_topps_archives_270_1965_no_473

Paul Blair’s career stats are only a click away, but I feel it is worth mentioning that the man owns FOUR World Series rings. Blair contributed heavily to the Orioles 1966 sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers for the World’s Crown. His solo homer off Claude Osteen proved the Game Three winner. Paul also reportedly robbed Jim Lefebvre of a dinger in the eighth inning in the final game of the Series that the Birds won by a final of one to nada.

The two-time All-Star also autographed his card (no. 275) from my 1975 Topps set. What a pro- he even used a blue Sharpie!

blair_paul_1975_topps_275

I also appreciate the fact that Paul Blair was regarded as being one of the top bunters in baseball during his day. Any player who consistently sacrifices himself for his teammates is likely destined for a warm reception in the Attic. That he won enough Gold Gloves to help keep a caterpillar warm in winter didn’t hurt Paul in the nomination process either. I’m always impressed when a player (either current or retired) takes the time out of their schedule to autograph one or two of my baseball cards.

– Kris

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One Response to “the blair paul project”

  1. zman40 Says:

    Those are cool. I picked picked up that ’75 last week at the card shop to send to Paul sometime.

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