Allie Reynolds

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Allie Pierce Reynolds

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Biographical Information[edit]

Allie Reynolds was a dominating pitcher during his 13-year career, mostly with the New York Yankees. Known as "Chief" due to his Indian heritage, Reynolds grew up in Oklahoma and played for Oklahoma Agricultural and Mechanical College. Sporting a blazing, overpowering fastball, he was signed by the Cleveland Indians in 1939 and broke in with them in 1942 at the age of 25.

In 1943, during World War II, he became a regular. He was 11-12 in 1943, and 11-8 in 1944 - leading the league in strikeouts in 1943. In 1945 he had a breakthrough year, winning 18 games. He was named to the All-Star team for the first time. In 1946 he had an off season, and after the season was traded to the Yankees for Joe Gordon.

At the age of 30, he started a string of 8 seasons with the Yankees, and during each season he won substantially more games than he lost. In addition, his ERA was better than the league average each year. He appeared in 6 World Series with the Yankees, and the Yankees won all of them. Reynolds had a record of 7-2 in the Series with a 2.79 ERA over 77 innings of Series play. He also hit .308 in 26 at-bats in the Series.

He was frequently recognized at post-season award time. In the 1951 AL, he was 3rd in the MVP voting (his teammate Yogi Berra was the winner); in 1952, he was second in the voting, splitting some votes with teammate Mickey Mantle, who was third that year. Reynolds led the league in both ERA and strikeouts in 1952.

After having one of his better statistical years in 1954 at age 37, he retired - finishing with a record of 182-107, a .630 winning percentage, and a 3.30 ERA.

Some argue that Reynolds is one of the better pitchers not in the Hall of Fame. The most similar players who are in the Hall, based on the Hall of Fame similarity scores method, are Lefty Gomez and Bob Lemon. A later-era player who seems quite similar and not yet in the Hall is Ron Guidry.

In Hall of Fame voting by the baseball writers, he typically got around 20-30% of the vote. In 1968, his best year in the voting, he got 33% of the vote, finishing ahead of Arky Vaughan, Pee Wee Reese, Phil Rizzuto, George Kell, Hal Newhouser, Bob Lemon, and Bobby Doerr, all of whom eventually got into the Hall. During Veterans Committee deliberations, he was said to have been a major candidate.

In 1969, Reynolds became the head of the revived American Association and the league named its Allie Reynolds Award for the top pitcher in his honor.

Oklahoma State University baseball has called Allie P. Reynolds Stadium home since 1981.

Notable Achievements[edit]

  • 6-time AL All-Star (1945, 1949, 1950 & 1952-1954)
  • AL ERA Leader (1952)
  • 2-time AL Strikeouts Leader (1943 & 1952)
  • 2-time AL Shutouts Leader (1951 & 1952)
  • 15 Wins Seasons: 7 (1945 & 1947-1952)
  • 20 Wins Seasons: 1 (1952)
  • 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 7 (1945 & 1947-1952)
  • Won six World Series with the New York Yankees (1947, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952 & 1953)

Further Reading[edit]

  • Sol Gittleman: Reynolds, Raschi and Lopat: New York's Big Three and the Great Yankee Dynasty of 1949-1953, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2007.
  • Sol Gittleman: "One Trade, Three Teams, and Reversal of Fortune", The Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Volume 41, Number 1 (Spring 2012), pp. 86-89.

Related Sites[edit]