Willie Blair

From BR Bullpen


William Allen Blair

BR page

Biographical Information[edit]

Pitcher Willie Blair was signed as an 11th round pick in the 1986 amateur draft by the Toronto Blue Jays and scout Don Welke. He threw a sinking fastball, a slider with a downward break and a change-up. In 1999, Willie was the final Opening Day starter in the history of Tiger Stadium. He won 16 games for the Tigers in 1997, more than one-quarter of his total big league victories (60-86 record for eight teams in 12 seasons).

After his retirement, Blair coached the JV team at Lexington Christian Academy before returning to professional baseball. He was the pitching coach for the Joliet Jackhammers in 2010 and the Fort Wayne TinCaps in 2011 and 2012. In 2013, he was named bullpen coach of the San Diego Padres, staying until the end of the 2015 season. Blair moved to the Detroit Tigers organization and became the pitching coach of the Erie SeaWolves in 2016-2018 and West Michigan Whitecaps in 2019 and 2021. He was slated to coach the Whitecaps in 2020 before the minor league season was canceled due to COVID-19. The Tigers did not renew his contract after the 2021 season as part of a restructuring of their player development system.

After a year out of baseball, Blair moved to the Cincinnati Reds' chain as pitching coach of the Daytona Tortugas in 2023-2024.

In addition, Blair spent three winters (2017/2018 to 2019/2020) in the Dominican League as the Leones del Escogido pitching coach.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 15 Wins Seasons: 1 (1997)

Related Sites[edit]