Pee Wee Reese

Harold Henry Reese
Inducted to the Hall of Fame in: 1984
Primary team: Brooklyn Dodgers
Primary position: Shortstop

Pee Wee Reese was the heart and soul of the Dodgers, playing shortstop from 1940-57 (he served in the Navy from 1943-45) in Brooklyn, and for one season in Los Angeles.

With Reese, numbers don’t tell the whole story. The Dodgers captain was the leader of of a dynasty that produced seven National League pennants and one World Series win.

Reese was a 10 time All-Star who finished in the Top 10 of the NL Most Valuable Player Award voting eight times. His nickname came not from stature (he stood 5-foot-10), but from his childhood days as a marbles champion in Louisville. He broke in with the Dodgers in 1940 and became a regular the following year. In 1942, Reese led all NL shortstops in putouts, assists and double plays.

He was a versatile ballplayer, and his contributions to the team were varied: He led the NL in walks (104) in 1947, runs (132) in 1949 and stolen bases (30) in 1952. Defensively, he led the league four times in putouts, twice in double plays and once each in fielding percentage and assists.

But his most important action on a baseball field may have been prior to a game. In 1947, the Dodgers were visiting Cincinnati, and fans and opposing players were jeering rookie Jackie Robinson. Reports of the game state that Reese calmly walked over to Robinson, put his arm around his teammate’s shoulder, and chatted. The gesture is remembered as an important moment in both Robinson’s career and the acceptance of African Americans in baseball – and American society.

Earlier, Reese had refused to sign a petition circulating among Dodger teammates concerning Robinson’s participation on the team. Jackie’s widow, Rachel Robinson, said: “I thought it was a very supportive gesture, and very instinctive on Pee Wee’s part. You shouldn’t forget that Pee Wee was the captain, and he led the way. Pee Wee was more than a friend. Pee Wee was a good man.”

Reese was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1984. He passed away on Aug. 14, 1999.

"He was the heart and soul of the "Boys of Summer". "
Vin Scully

Career stats

ESSENTIAL STATS
Year Inducted: 1984
Primary Team: Brooklyn Dodgers
Position Played: Shortstop
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Birth place: Ekron, Kentucky
Birth year: 1918
Died: 1999, Louisville, Kentucky
Played for:
Brooklyn Dodgers (1940-1942)
Brooklyn Dodgers (1946-1957)
Los Angeles Dodgers (1958)
CAREER AT A GLANCE
GamesG
2166
At BatsAB
8058
RunsR
1338
HitsH
2170
Doubles2B
330
Triples3B
80
Home RunsHR
126
RBIRBI
885
Stolen BasesSB
232
WalksBB
1210
Batting AverageBA
.269
OPSOPS
.743
On Base %OBP
.366
Slugging %SLG
.377