Ron Fairly

In a ML career that spanned 21 seasons, Fairly was a good hitter whose talents were sometimes overshadowed by a stunning lack of speed. When asked in his final season if he’d lost any speed, he replied, “There was nothing to lose.” In both 1963 and 1967 he tied a ML record by having no triples in 150 or more games. A consistent hitter who hit at least 10 home runs 14 times, Fairly also walked often enough to post good-to-excellent on-base averages. DHing for the 1977 expansion Blue Jays, he hit a career-high 19 HR. Versatile enough to play the outfield despite his lumbering style, the steady Fairly was better suited to first base, leading NL first base in fielding in 1963. He took over at first base for the Dodgers in 1962, but surrendered the position to Gold Glover Wes Parker in 1966. Fairly returned to the outfield.

After several years of declining batting averages, Fairly was traded to the expansion Expos in 1969 in the deal that returned Maury Wills to Los Angeles. After he escaped the vastness of Dodger Stadium, Fairly’s batting average and power rebounded. Starting in 1974 he was less of a full-time player; only with Toronto in 1977 did he play more than 110 games again.