Jerry Adair

From BR Bullpen


Kenneth Jerry Adair
(Casper the Friendly Ghost)

BR page

Biographical Information[edit]

"That man was one of the coolest clutch hitters I had seen." - Carl Yastrzemski

Jerry Adair was an excellent fielding, light-hitting second baseman over a thirteen-year major league career.

After attending Oklahoma State, where he also played basketball, Adair was signed by the Baltimore Orioles for a reported $40,000 bonus in 1958 and brought straight to the major leagues. By 1961 he was a regular, and the next year he hit .284 with 11 home runs. While his offensive numbers were generally much lower, he set records with his glove. In 1964, he fielded 458 consecutive chances over 89 games without an error at second. He led the AL with a .994 fielding percentage that year and a .986 mark in 1965. Adair's good fielding didn't stop the Orioles from trading him to the Chicago White Sox for reliever Eddie Fisher in June of 1966, a move that also opened the O's second base job up for prospect Davey Johnson. The Orioles easily won the American League pennant followed by a win in the World Series while Adair labored for the fourth-place White Sox. He stayed with Chicago into the next year until another June trade moved him to the Boston Red Sox. Adair helped the Red Sox to the 1967 World Series by hitting .291.

He was later selected by the Kansas City Royals in the 1968 Expansion Draft. Adair was the opening day starting second basemen for the inaugural edition of the Royals in 1969, a year in which he appeared in 126 games. He ended his big league career after only 7 more games for the Royals in 1970.

Once his big league days ended, Adair played a season in Japan with the Hankyu Braves and was a major league coach for the Oakland Athletics from 1972 to 1974 and the California Angels in 1975. Dick Williams, who had managed the 1967 Red Sox, was the A's manager when Adair joined the coaching staff in 1972 and again with the 1975 Angels. The A's won the World Series all three seasons he was a coach.

Adair died of liver and bladder cancer in 1987 at 50.

Further Reading[edit]

  • Royse Parr: "Jerry Adair", in Bill Nowlin and Dan Desrochers, eds.: The 1967 Impossible Dream Red Sox: 'Pandemonium on the Field', SABR, Rounder Books, Burlington, MA, 2007, pp. 25-29. ISBN 978-1-5794-0141-2
  • Royse Parr: "Jerry Adair", in Chip Greene, ed.: Mustaches and Mayhem, Charlie O's Three-Time Champions: The Oakland Athletics 1972-74, SABR, Phoenix, AZ, 2015, pp. 114-119. ISBN 978-1-943816-07-1

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