On Tuesday night on a neutral field in Arlington, Texas, the Los Angeles Dodgers ended one of the longest title droughts in Major League Baseball, defeating the Tampa Bay Rays 3-1 in Game 6 of the World Series.
This was their first World Series title since 1988.
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.
Wes grew up in Brentwood, a Westside suburb of Los Angeles, and went to all local schools: John Thomas Dye middle school, Harvard-Westlake (when it was all military), Claremont McKenna (east of l.A.) and Us.c. from which he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in History Humanities.
He played Little League, PONY League, American Legion ball, High School baH and at Claremont for Bill Arce, making small college All American his junior year.
His path to the Dodgers was unusual, He begged them for a chance, got it and after just one year in the minors made the big club in 1964. In 1965 he became a starter at first base when they won the World Cnampionship, defeating the Minnesota Twins in seven games.
During his nine years with the team he was named team Dodger in 1970 and won both the Lou Gehrig and Brian Piccolo Awards for his work helping young people stay off drugs. After Sunday games he hit fly balls to the kids who waited near his car, then drove most of them home.
He also won six consecutive Gold Glove awards as the best fielding first baseman in the league and in 2007 was voted by the fans the best fielding first baseman of the past half century.
He retired at age 32 to pursue his many other interests, including golf, bridge, music, Bible studies, teaching at Braille Institute, collecting baseball books, writing, investing and a love of nature.
Following his career he went into hosting and commercials. He hosted a daily health show in 1984 for USA Cable, starred in a nightly sitcom for Norman Lear (All That Glitters in 1979) and had a lead in a Christian movie for Billy Graham (Cry from the Mountain in 1984). In 1987, he hosted a rijdio pre- and post-game show for his hometown Dodgers.
Wes resides in Pacific Palisades and continues to work for the Dodgers on their Speaker’s Bureau, fulfilling speaker requests at schools, Little League openings, Christian groups and service clubs.