November 13, 1939 |
|April 19, 1964, for the Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Last MLB appearance|
|October 1, 1972, for the Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Runs batted in||470|
|Career highlights and awards|
Maurice Wesley 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. 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.
Major League playing career
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. 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 in May, 1970, Parker hit for the cycle (single, double, triple, and home run in the same game). 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 named to the Major League Baseball All-time Gold Glove Team, and is the only member of the team who is not in the Baseball Hall of Fame, except for those waiting to become eligible after recent retirements. (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 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 he is distracted in his studies. Parker promises Greg two tickets to Opening Day if he scores an "A" in the class.
Parker grew up in West Los Angeles. He is the only Major League Baseball player to have attended Claremont McKenna College, but because of a family situation, he transferred to USC and graduated from there. Parker had a son in 1967 with then girlfriend, Patricia Randall, who was an acting coach and Broadway actress.
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.
- Kovacevic, Dejan (August 22, 2007). "Pirates' Clemente makes all-time Gold Glove team". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved March 13, 2015.
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
- Wes Parker at the Internet Movie Database