Saturday, August 5, 2017

Wes Parker (#218)

Wes Parker played for 9 seasons (1964-72) and all for the Dodgers. He was the regular 1st baseman every season from 1965-72, making over 495 plate appearances every year (705 in 1970!) and won the Gold Glove award in his last 6 seasons.

I wonder why he retired after 9 seasons, at age 32? It seems he was still going strong. Maybe Night Owl knows the answer.

Parker was signed by the Dodgers and played only 1 season (1963) in the minors (split between A and AA). He debuted with the Dodgers in April 1964 and played in 124 games as a rookie, although only starting 47 games (28 at 1st base, 19 in the outfield).

In 1965, Wes began his 8-year stint as the Dodgers’ regular 1st baseman, with incumbent Ron Fairly moving to right field. Parker started the majority of the games there over that span (including every game in 1970). He also occasionally started in the outfield, with Fairly or others filling in at first base.

Parker won the Gold Glove award in his final 6 seasons, but curiously was never an All-Star. The fact that he was a corner infielder whose season-high homerun output was 13 probably affected his All-Star chances. He was named to the All-time Gold Glove team in 2007.

After retiring following the 1973 season, he broadcast Cincinnati Reds’ games for a year, then played in Japan in 1974.

Returning from Japan after 1 season, he began an acting career, appearing on (of course) The Brady Bunch and other TV shows. He returned to broadcasting from 1978-83.

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