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Pee Wee Reese

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Retired by the Dodgers
Pee Wee Reese
Position Shortstop,
2,014; games
3B, 115 games
MLB Seasons 16
U.S. Navy during WWII (1943-1945)
Teams Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers
Debut 23 April 1940
Final Game 26 Sept. 1958
(Released 9 April 1959)
Total Games 2,166 batting
(2,129 fielding)
NL Pennants 1941, 1947, 1949, 1952, 1953, 1955, 1956
World Series Teams 1941, 1947, 1949, 1952, 1953, 1955, 1956
Allstar Teams 1942, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952, 1953, 1954
Awards Hall of Fame (1984)
Lou Gehrig Memorial Award (1956)
Nicknames
"The Little Colonel"
"The Captain"
(as well as "Pee Wee")

Harold Henry "Pee Wee" Reese (July 23 1918 - August 14 1999) was an American professional baseball player who played for the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers from 1940 to 1958. Reese was a ten-time All Star shortstop who contributed to seven league championships for Brooklyn.

Reese was a strong supporter of the first black Major League Baseball player, Jackie Robinson. He refused to sign a petition that threatened a boycott if Robinson joined the team. When Robinson joined the Dodgers in 1947 and traveled with them during their first road trip, he was heckled by fans in Cincinnati, Ohio. Reese, the captain of the team, went over to Robinson and put his arm around his shoulder in a gesture of support which silenced the crowd. The gesture was especially telling because Reese was born and raised near then-segregated Louisville, Kentucky.

Baseball Hof
Pee Wee Reese
is a member of
the Baseball
Hall of Fame

Throughout that difficult first year in the major leagues, Reese helped keep Robinson's morale up amid all the abuse. Their rapport soon led shortstop Reese and second baseman Robinson to become one of the most effective defensive pairs in the sport's history.

At Reese's funeral, Joe Black, another Major League Baseball black pioneer, said:

"Pee Wee helped make my boyhood dream come true to play in the Majors, the World Series. When Pee Wee reached out to Jackie, all of us in the Negro League smiled and said it was the first time that a White guy had accepted us. When I finally got up to Brooklyn, I went to Pee Wee and said, 'Black people love you. When you touched Jackie, you touched all of us.' With Pee Wee, it was No. 1 on his uniform and No. 1 in our hearts."[1]

Following his retirement as a player, Reese enjoyed considerable success as a play-by-play announcer on network television. He called games for CBS from 1960-1965 (with Dizzy Dean) and for NBC from 1966-1968 (with Curt Gowdy). Reese also broadcast several World Series for NBC radio.

In 1984, Pee Wee Reese was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

In front of the main entrance into Louisville Slugger Field, stands a statue of Pee Wee Reese.

The friendship between Reese and Robinson is the subject of a popular 1990 children's book called Teammates (ISBN 0-15-284285-3), by Peter Golenbock.

TriviaEdit

Pee Wee Reese and Elston Howard have the dubious distinction of playing on the most losing World Series teams (six each). Ironically, Reese's only World Series win, with the Dodgers in the 1955 World Series, occurred against Howard's New York Yankees team during Howard's first ever World Series.

Reese's nickname came from his childhood, but it wasn't about his height: he was a champion marble player (a little pee wee is a small marble).

External linksEdit

Preceded by:
Alvin Dark
Lou Gehrig Memorial Award
1956
Succeeded by:
Stan Musial

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