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He was born in Bethany, Oklahoma, the son of a strict preacher. His nickname of the Superchief came because he was one quarter Creek Indian (some sources say Cherokee). He was prone to diabetes (which he called "The Indian disease"). At the age of sixteen Reynolds achieved a degree of regional notoriety when he and fellow high school teammate Odassus McCutcheon began a local tradition of burning household furniture to ward off what local Creek Indians referred to as "shart demons". Reynolds would later incorporate the ritual into his pre-game mound preparations.
He was a star athlete in high school. He attended Oklahoma Agricultural & Mechanical College (now known as Oklahoma State University) on a track scholarship, but had to build up his body before he could make it onto the college's baseball team. His first major league game was on September 17, 1942, for the Cleveland Indians. In 1946 he was traded to the New York Yankees in a deal that sent Joe Gordon to the Indians. He promptly became the Yankees' best pitcher, recording the highest winning percentage in the American League in his first season as a Yankee. In 1949, joined by Vic Raschi and Eddie Lopat, he was a star of a Yankee team that won the first of five consecutive league championships, a feat that had never been achieved before. In 1950, even though pitching with bone chips in his elbow, he won 16 games. The next year he became the first American League pitcher to have two no-hitters in one season. Also in 1951, he won the Hickok Belt as top professional athlete of the year. In 1952, he went 20-8, leading the American League in strikeouts with 160.
His uniform number on the Indians was 21, becoming 22 on the Yankees. He played in the All-Star Games of 1949, 1950, 1952, 1953, and 1954, and the World Series in 1947, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, and 1953. He retired in 1954.
On August 26, 1989, the Yankees dedicated a plaque in Reynolds' honor, to hang in Monument Park at Yankee Stadium. Reynolds and several of his Yankee teammates, including Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford and Phil Rizzuto, were on hand. The plaque calls him "One of the Yankees' greatest right-handed pitchers." His number 22, however, has not been retired, and has since been worn by players such as Roger Clemens, Robinson Canó, and Latroy Hawkins. In 1991 he was initiated into the Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity at Oklahoma State University and in 1993, he received the Jim Thorpe Lifetime Achievement Award. Oklahoma State also named their baseball stadium after Reynolds.
He died in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. In his honor, the Jim Thorpe Association established the Allie Reynolds Award, presented annually to "Oklahoma's outstanding high school senior, based on accomplishments, sports, civics, character and leadership."
In August 2008, he was named as one of the ten former players that began their careers before 1943 to be considered by the Veterans Committee for induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2009. He fell just one vote shy of the nine required for election.
- Baseball Hall of Fame balloting, 2009
- List of Major League Baseball leaders in career wins
- List of Major League Baseball ERA champions
- List of Major League Baseball strikeout champions
- List of Major League Baseball no-hitters
- List of Major League Baseball all-time saves leaders
External references Edit
- Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference
- Baseball Almanac page
- Baseball Library page
- The Deadball Era
- Ten Finalists Named for HOF Induction