John Klippstein (1945)

John was the first Blair athlete to play in the Major Leagues. He started his rise to sports stardom while at Blair, playing basketball in addition to baseball (Blair didn’t have a football team until the year after John graduated). John was also active in other aspects of Blair life, being a member of the Library Club, President of his Junior Class, and Student Council President his Senior Year. He confessed to being “caught more than once calculating my earned run average instead of doing my geometry assignment.”  He was among the many Blair students who went “upcounty to Gaithersburg” during World War II to help with the harvests while many farmers and workers were in the service.

John spent 18 years in the Major Leagues, pitching for several teams, including Cincinnati, Los Angeles, Minnesota, and the Chicago Cubs. He appeared in two World Series, winning in 1959 with Los Angeles and playing in 1965 with Minnesota. He retired to the Chicago area and became a successful businessman. In 1998, at the closing of the Wayne Ave. location, John gave a moving and humorous speech recalling his love for Blair and the wonderful times he had there. John passed away in 2003, and two years later was honored by being inducted into the Maryland Sports Hall of Fame.