January 25, 1907|
|Died: December 9, 1982
|August 24, 1931, for the Chicago Cubs|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 7, 1931, for the Chicago Cubs|
|Runs batted in||3|
James Aubrey Adair (January 25, 1907 – December 9, 1982) was an American baseball infielder, manager and coach. Although he played only briefly in Major League Baseball, as a shortstop for the 1931 Chicago Cubs, Adair had a long career as a minor league player and manager, and as a Major League coach and scout. A native of Waxahachie, Texas, he was associated for many years with a fellow townsman, Paul Richards, who as a manager or general manager employed Adair as a coach for three MLB teams.
Adair attended East Texas Baptist University and Marshall University. He batted and threw right-handed, and stood 5'10½" (179 cm) tall and weighed 155 pounds (70 kg). His professional playing career began in 1927 with the Mexia, Texas, Gushers of the Class D Lone Star League, and by 1931 was playing at the top level of the minor leagues with the Reading Keystones of the AA International League. After batting .285, he was called up to the Cubs in August. Over the next month he appeared in eighteen games at shortstop, garnering 21 hits in 76 at bats — a batting average of .276 — including three doubles and one triple, no home runs and three runs batted in. He then returned to the minors to forge a successful career as a second baseman for the Louisville Colonels of the AA American Association from 1932–36, batting over .300 three times.
In 1940, Adair was a player-manager in the Class C East Texas League. This was his first job as manager. After World War II, Adair managed in the farm systems of the St. Louis Browns and Philadelphia Athletics, and managed in the Double-A Texas League with the San Antonio Missions and Dallas Eagles in the late 1940s.
In 1951, Richards became manager of the Chicago White Sox and Adair served as one of his coaches for the 1951–52 seasons before resuming his minor league managing career. In 1957, Richards brought him back to the majors as a coach with the Baltimore Orioles. Adair spent five seasons under Richards in Baltimore (1957–61), and then followed Richards to the Houston Colt .45s/Astros for four more years (1962–65) as a member of the Houston coaching staff. After retiring from the field, Adair became a scout for the Kansas City and Oakland Athletics and the Kansas City Royals. He died from a heart attack at age 75 in Dallas, Texas.
- Spink, C.C. Johnson, ed., The Baseball Register. St. Louis: The Sporting News, 1965.
- Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball. Durham, North Carolina: Baseball America, 2007.