Saturday, June 18, 2011

#344 Wes Parker

#344 Wes Parker
Here's the other card that I obtained through Topps' Million Card Giveaway thingamajig. Using one of my code cards, I unlocked a 1963 Jerry Kindall. First I swapped it for a 1963 Billy O'Dell, and after careful consideration, I traded the O'Dell for Wes Parker here.

Fun facts about Wes Parker:

-Wes was born in Evanston, IL and attended Claremont McKenna College and the University of Southern California before signing with the Dodgers in 1963.

-He hit .315 in his first pro season, and jumped from AA to the Dodgers to begin the 1964 season. As a rookie he hit .257 in 214 at-bats.

-Parker took over at first base for L.A. in 1965 and showed value beyond his .238 average. He walked 75 times to boost his on-base percentage to .334, and scored 80 runs.

-In the 1965 World Series, Wes hit .304 (7-for-23) with 3 walks, a hit-by-pitch, a triple, a homer, and 2 RBI as the Dodgers bested the Twins. His run-scoring single off of Jim Kaat in Game 7 was crucial, as the clincher ended in a 2-0 final.

-Known as a particularly smooth defender, he won six consecutive Gold Gloves at first base (1967-1972).

-Wes had a banner year in 1970, leading the Dodgers with a .319 average and 111 RBI despite totaling only 10 home runs. His league-high 47 doubles were a contributing factor. He finished fifth in MVP voting.

-Parker hit for the cycle on May 7, 1970 in a 7-4 win over the Mets. He drove in three runs, including a game-winning two-run triple off of Jim McAndrew in the tenth inning.

-He was only 33 when he retired in 1972. In 10 seasons he'd hit .267 with an 111 OPS+. He totaled 64 home runs and 470 RBI, and had a .996 fielding percentage.

-After broadcasting Reds games in 1973, he played one more season with the Nankai Hawks in Japan. He batted .301 with 14 home runs and won the Diamond Glove Award.

-Wes also called games for NBC and USA in the late 1970s and early 1980s, and did some acting as well. He had guest spots on shows like The Brady Bunch and MacMillan and Wife. You can see his full filmography here.
#344 Wes Parker (back)


  1. When I was a kid this guy seemed like the quintessential L.A. Dodger -- good looks, smooth fielding, acting career. And a switch-hitter (the Dodgers had five in 1966). My Dad called him "Wesley Parker III" for some reason.

  2. Doug - Your comment made me go back and look up his birth name. Turns out it's Maurice Wesley Parker. He sure doesn't look like a Maurice!