Wes Parker

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Wes Parker
First baseman
Born: (1939-11-13) November 13, 1939 (age 79)
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 "Wes" 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] He also played one season in Japan for the Nankai Hawks in 1974.

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

Biography[edit]

Major League playing career[edit]

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.[8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][18] 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 (single, double, triple, and home run in the same game).[19][20] He was the last Los Angeles Dodger to accomplish that feat until Orlando Hudson did it 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.[21] He is the only member of the team who is not and will not be in the Baseball Hall of Fame.[22] (Parker himself 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.[23]

Career Statistics[edit]

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.

Other endeavors[edit]

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. He subsequently pursued an acting career and appeared in a number of television roles in the 1970s. He also was a baseball broadcaster for NBC in 1978–79 and for USA Network in 1980–83.

He appeared in episode #17 of The Brady Bunch, "The Undergraduate" (1/23/70), as the boyfriend of Greg Brady's math teacher, on whom Greg has such a huge crush that distracts him from his studies. Parker promises Greg two tickets to Opening Day if he scores an "A" in the class.[24]

Personal life[edit]

Parker grew up in West Los Angeles. He attended Claremont McKenna College, but later transferred to USC and graduated from USC with a B.A. in History. [25]

Religious views[edit]

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), Wes spoke with Dr. 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 Gene 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[edit]

References[edit]

  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 Ties NL Record", Evening Outlook, Sports, p. 24, Santa Monica, California, Dec. 9, 1965.
  9. ^ Hunter, Bob. "Parker Pride – He'll Improve or Get Out", The Sporting News, p. 5, St. Louis, Missouri, Feb. 19, 1966.
  10. ^ Miller, Dick. "Secret Behind Sandy's 20th Victory", Evening Outlook, Sports, p. 14, Santa Monica, California, Aug. 22, 1966.
  11. ^ Miller, Dick. "Healthy, Aggressive Parker Helps Dodgers Win", Evening Outlook, p. 18, Santa Monica, California, June 16, 1966,
  12. ^ Finch, Frank. "Koufax OK, KO's Cardinals for No. 20", Los Angeles Times, Sports, Part III, p. 1, Aug. 22, 1966.
  13. ^ Miller, Dick. "Parker Happy Over Improved Batting: Comeback Sparks Wes' Hopes", Evening Outlook, p. 12, Santa Monica, California, Sep. 4, 1967.
  14. ^ Hafner, Dan. "Parker Lifts Dodgers to Victory Over Phils", Los Angeles Times, Sports, Part III, p. 1, April 17, 1968.
  15. ^ "At Last – Figures Verify Facts: Boyer N.L.'s Best at Hot Sack", The Sporting News, p. 23, St. Louis, Missouri, Dec. 18, 1965.
  16. ^ "Rawlings 1967 Gold Glove Award", The Sporting News, pp. 24-25, St. Louis, Missouri, Nov. 11, 1967.
  17. ^ Sirody, Jim. "Alston Admits LA Has Many Problems: Parker Batting Spree Ends Skein of Losses", Evening Outlook, Sports, Santa Monica, California, July 8, 1968.
  18. ^ Finch, Frank. "A Day in the Life of a Dodger Rookie", Los Angeles Times, Sports, Part III, p. 1, March 20, 1964.
  19. ^ Helfgott, Hali. "Wes Parker, First Baseman", Sports Illustrated, March 22, 1971.
  20. ^ "Baseball's Rising Star: Wes Parker of Los Angeles", Sports Illustrated, Cover Photo, Mar. 23, 1971.
  21. ^ "Their Work with the Glove is Golden," Los Angeles Times, Sports, D5, August 23, 2007.
  22. ^ Kovacevic, Dejan (August 22, 2007). "Pirates' Clemente makes all-time Gold Glove team". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved March 13, 2015.
  23. ^ "Their Work with the Glove is Golden," Los Angeles Times, Sports, D5, August 23, 2007.
  24. ^ Helfgott, Hali. "Wes Parker, First Baseman", Sports Illustrated, March 22, 1971.
  25. ^ https://sabr.org/bioproj/person/545e1b8c

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Achievements
Preceded by
Jim Fregosi
Hitting for the cycle
May 7, 1970
Succeeded by
Rod Carew