Here's to you, Jerry Adair.

We love the image but ought to put this card in our little stack for Orioles Card O' the Day. Signed by the Baltimore Orioles out of Oklahoma State on September 2, 1958 for a $40,000 bonus, Jerry Adair went on to play second base for the Orioles, the White Sox, the Red Sox, and Kansas City. Carl Yastrzemski wrote in his autobiography Baseball, The Wall, and Me that Adair was "one of the coolest clutch hitters I had seen." He played 13 seasons and was an adept second baseman. It appears in this card that he is wearing Oxfords, batting in the middle of a field, and using a stick as home plate. This is nothing compared to the toughness that was to come.

Jerry Adair died at age 50 in 1987. There's a lot to admire about his short life, but here's one sample tidbit from The Sporting News obituary published on June 15 of that year. Adair often played with ailments and injuries that would have sidelined others:

"Once, during the 1964 season he was struck in the mouth by a bad throw
during the first game of a doubleheaders with the Detroit Tigers. The resulting
laceration required 11 stitches but Adair was back in the park in uniform to
play the entire second game."

We know that certain players are known as tough for different reasons--Gary Sheffield, Adam Dunn, Ty Cobb, A.J. Pierzynski and so on--but Mr. Adair had some serious true grit.


PTBNL said...

Did you get that OK State card out of a repack?

DC said...

Yes, oddly enough, along with one of Joel Horlen.

PTBNL said...

I got a couple of those out of a repack too. One was Doug Dascenzo.