Wes Parker
1971 Ticketron Wes Parker.jpg
First baseman
Born: (1939-11-13) November 13, 1939 (age 82)
Evanston, Illinois
Batted: Switch
Threw: Left
MLB debut
April 19, 1964, for the Los Angeles Dodgers
Last MLB appearance
October 1, 1972, for the Los Angeles Dodgers
MLB statistics
Batting average.267
Home runs64
Runs batted in470
Teams
Career highlights and awards

Maurice Wesley Parker III (born November 13, 1939) is a former first baseman in Major League Baseball who played for the Los Angeles Dodgers from 1964 to 1972.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8] He also played one season in Japan for the Nankai Hawks in 1974.[9]

As of 2009, Parker has been a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers organization serving as a representative of the Dodgers Legend Bureau.

Biography

Major League playing career

Parker was part of the Dodgers' 1965 and 1966 World Series teams. Known as one of the slickest fielding first basemen of all time, he won the National League Gold Glove Award for first base every year from 1967 to 1972.[10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18][19][20][excessive citations] In 1970, Parker posted a career high batting average of .319 and performed the unusual feat of driving in over 100 runs in a season while hitting no more than 10 home runs.

In a game against the New York Mets on May 7, 1970, Parker hit for the cycle.[21][22][23] He was the last Los Angeles Dodger to accomplish that feat until Orlando Hudson did so against the San Francisco Giants on April 13, 2009.

On August 21, 2007, Parker was voted the best defensive first baseman in baseball since the inception of the Gold Glove award in 1957, and named to the Major League Baseball All-time Gold Glove Team.[24] He is the only member of the team who is not in the Baseball Hall of Fame.[25] (Parker is not eligible to enter the Hall of Fame as a player because he played in only nine seasons, one less than the minimum required for consideration.)

Parker is the only Dodger to have received the All-Time Gold Glove Team award.[24]

After Sunday home games in the final years of his career, Parker would hit fly balls to local kids outside Dodger Stadium, then drive as many as would fit into his car for ice cream and sodas. He said that he enjoyed his interactions with the kids more than he did playing the games for which he was paid.[26]

Career statistics

In nine seasons and 1,288 games played, Parker compiled a .267 batting average (1110-4157), with 548 runs scored, 64 home runs, 470 RBI, 532 walks, .351 on-base percentage and .375 slugging percentage. In 11 World Series games (1965 and '66) he hit .278 (10-36). At 1,108 games at first base, his primary position, his fielding percentage was .996. He also played at all three outfield positions.

Labor issues

Major League Baseball had its first ever work stoppage with a strike at the beginning of the 1972 season, which lasted 13 days. The player representatives voted 47-0, with one abstention, in favor of the strike. The abstention was Parker, who felt a deep appreciation for everything the Dodgers had done for him.[27]

Other endeavors

Parker retired from Major League Baseball after the 1972 season. He worked as a television color analyst for the Cincinnati Reds in 1973, then played in Japanese professional baseball in 1974.[28]

Parker subsequently pursued an acting career, and appeared in a number of television roles in the 1970s.[28] His most famous role came in episode #17 of The Brady Bunch, "The Undergraduate" (January 23, 1970), as the fiancèe of Greg Brady's math teacher, on whom Greg has such a huge crush that it distracts him from his studies. Parker promises Greg two tickets to opening day if he earns an A in the class.[26][22] Parker eventually gave up acting, saying it did not fit his introverted personality.[26]

Parker also was a baseball broadcaster for NBC in 1978–79 and for USA Network in 1980–83.[citation needed]

Personal life

This section of a biography of a living person needs additional citations for verification. Please help by adding reliable sources. Contentious material about living persons that is unsourced or poorly sourced must be removed immediately, especially if potentially libelous or harmful.Find sources: "Wes Parker" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (November 2017) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

Parker grew up in West Los Angeles. He attended Claremont McKenna College, transferred to USC, and graduated from USC with a B.A. in history.[29][30]

Beginning in 2001, Parker began as a volunteer teacher of a weekly sports class at the Braille Institute in Los Angeles.[26]

Religious views

Parker served as a voice of faith for the ministry of television preacher Dr. Gene Scott. During a 1982 broadcast (index number S-1086-3), Parker spoke with Scott publicly for over twenty minutes, stating that before coming across Dr. Scott's television program, he had never understood or felt drawn toward Christianity. He explained that it was Scott's intelligent and fact-based approach to teaching that earned his respect and allowed him to build faith. He stated that his earlier exposures to Christianity had no effect, because they were mostly based on simplistic platitudes such as "God is love" which he found unconvincing.

See also

References

  1. ^ Finch, Frank. "Koufax Goes on Relief, Halts Phils", Los Angeles Times, Sports, p. 1, May 25, 1964.
  2. ^ Baker, Bob. "Parker Still not a Starter", Evening Outlook, Sports, p. 15, Santa Monica, California, May 25, 1964.
  3. ^ Park, Charlie. "Happy Dodgers Praise Parker", Los Angeles Times, Sports, June 14, 1964.
  4. ^ Hunter, Bob. "Parker's Polish Makes Dodgers Glitter", The Sporting News, Cover, pp. 3-4, St. Louis, Missouri, Jun. 19, 1965.
  5. ^ "Steal", Los Angeles Times, Sec. D, p. 5, Oct. 10, 1965.
  6. ^ Miller, Dick. "Parker Returned in Favor: Dressen Pays Bavasi Back", Evening Outlook, Sports, p. 25, Santa Monica, California, June 24, 1965.
  7. ^ Finch, Frank. "Sandy's the Greatest – Dodgers Win it!" Los Angeles Times, Sports, Part III, p. 1, Oct. 15, 1965.
  8. ^ "Parker Saved Alston from Breakdown," Los Angeles Times, Sports, Part III, p. 3, May 26, 1964.
  9. ^ Leahy, Michael. The Last Innocents: The Collision of the Turbulent Sixties and the Los Angeles Dodgers, pp. 448-51, Harper Collins Publishers, New York, New York, 2016. ISBN 978-0-06-236056-4.
  10. ^ "Parker Ties NL Record", Evening Outlook, Sports, p. 24, Santa Monica, California, Dec. 9, 1965.
  11. ^ Hunter, Bob. "Parker Pride – He'll Improve or Get Out", The Sporting News, p. 5, St. Louis, Missouri, Feb. 19, 1966.
  12. ^ Miller, Dick. "Secret Behind Sandy's 20th Victory", Evening Outlook, Sports, p. 14, Santa Monica, California, Aug. 22, 1966.
  13. ^ Miller, Dick. "Healthy, Aggressive Parker Helps Dodgers Win", Evening Outlook, p. 18, Santa Monica, California, June 16, 1966,
  14. ^ Finch, Frank. "Koufax OK, KO's Cardinals for No. 20", Los Angeles Times, Sports, Part III, p. 1, Aug. 22, 1966.
  15. ^ Miller, Dick. "Parker Happy Over Improved Batting: Comeback Sparks Wes' Hopes", Evening Outlook, p. 12, Santa Monica, California, Sep. 4, 1967.
  16. ^ Hafner, Dan. "Parker Lifts Dodgers to Victory Over Phils", Los Angeles Times, Sports, Part III, p. 1, April 17, 1968.
  17. ^ "At Last – Figures Verify Facts: Boyer N.L.'s Best at Hot Sack", The Sporting News, p. 23, St. Louis, Missouri, Dec. 18, 1965.
  18. ^ "Rawlings 1967 Gold Glove Award", The Sporting News, pp. 24-25, St. Louis, Missouri, Nov. 11, 1967.
  19. ^ Sirody, Jim. "Alston Admits LA Has Many Problems: Parker Batting Spree Ends Skein of Losses", Evening Outlook, Sports, Santa Monica, California, July 8, 1968.
  20. ^ Finch, Frank. "A Day in the Life of a Dodger Rookie", Los Angeles Times, Sports, Part III, p. 1, March 20, 1964.
  21. ^ Leahy, Michael. The Last Innocents: The Collision of the Turbulent Sixties and the Los Angeles Dodgers, pp. 430-2, Harper Collins Publishers, New York, New York, 2016. ISBN 978-0-06-236056-4.
  22. ^ a b Helfgott, Hali. "Wes Parker, First Baseman", Sports Illustrated, March 22, 1971.
  23. ^ "Baseball's Rising Star: Wes Parker of Los Angeles", Sports Illustrated, Cover Photo, Mar. 23, 1971.
  24. ^ a b "Their Work with the Glove is Golden," Los Angeles Times, Sports, D5, August 23, 2007.
  25. ^ Kovacevic, Dejan (August 22, 2007). "Pirates' Clemente makes all-time Gold Glove team". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved March 13, 2015.
  26. ^ a b c d "This Dodgers Gold Glover never lost his Midas touch". Los Angeles Times. 21 May 2007. Retrieved July 22, 2022.
  27. ^ "Old-Timers With Old Values Speak Out : Former Dodger Wes Parker Says He Wouldn't Vote for a Strike Today". Los Angeles Times. 4 August 1985. Retrieved 22 July 2022.
  28. ^ a b Leahy, Michael. The Last Innocents: The Collision of the Turbulent Sixties and the Los Angeles Dodgers, pp. 450-1, Harper Collins Publishers, New York, New York, 2016. ISBN 978-0-06-236056-4.
  29. ^ "Wes Parker – Society for American Baseball Research". Sabr.org.
  30. ^ Leahy, Michael. The Last Innocents: The Collision of the Turbulent Sixties and the Los Angeles Dodgers, pp. 32-47, Harper Collins Publishers, New York, New York, 2016. ISBN 978-0-06-236056-4.

Further reading

Achievements Preceded byJim Fregosi Hitting for the cycle May 7, 1970 Succeeded byRod Carew