Jimmie Reese

Jimmie Reese

Infobox MLB retired
name=Jimmie Reese

position=Second baseman
birthdate=birth date|1901|10|1
city-state|New York|New York
deathdate=death date and age|1994|7|12|1901|10|1
city-state|Santa Ana|California
debutdate=April 19
debutteam=New York Yankees
finaldate=September 25
finalteam=St. Louis Cardinals
stat1label=Batting average
stat2label=Home runs
stat3label=Runs batted in
* New York Yankees (by|1930-by|1931)
* St. Louis Cardinals (by|1932)
* Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim #50 retired

Jimmie Reese (October 1, 1901, in New York City – July 13, 1994, in Santa Ana, California) was the adopted name of Hyam Soloman (birth name variously given as Herman Soloman, James Herman Soloman, and James Hymie Soloman), a professional baseball player. He played primarily second base, though he also played a few games at third base.

In order to avoid the brunt of prejudice against Jewish baseball players during that era, Soloman adopted the name of Jimmie Reese, which he used throughout his baseball career.

Playing career

Much of his career was spent in the Pacific Coast League, beginning as a batboy with the Los Angeles Angels 1919-23. [http://bioproj.sabr.org/bioproj.cfm?a=v&v=l&pid=11741&bid=1077] [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C0CEEDF103FF937A25754C0A962958260]

Oakland Oaks

In 1924 he signed a contract to play second base with the Oakland Oaks. [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C0CEEDF103FF937A25754C0A962958260]

In 1927, Reese batted .295 in 191 games and led the PCL in fielding for second basemen (.984), as the Oaks won their first pennant in 15 years. [http://bioproj.sabr.org/bioproj.cfm?a=v&v=l&pid=11741&bid=1077]

New York Yankees

In September 1927 he was traded by Oakland to the New York Yankees for Lyn Lary and $100,000. [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C0CEEDF103FF937A25754C0A962958260]

He was called up to the American League in 1930. Reese played for the Yankees in 1930 and 1931, and was most noted for being the roommate of Babe Ruth (or, as Reese explained, he “roomed with Ruth’s suitcase”). [http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/history/top100.jsp?idx=1]

In 1930 he batted .346 in 188 at bats, striking out only 8 times. Only Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth hit for higher averages on the team. He was the primary back-up at second base (48 games) behind Tony Lazzeri (77 games).

t. Paul Saints

In November 1931 he was sent by the Yankees to the St. Paul Saints (American Association), to complete an earlier deal made in June 1931 for Johnny Murphy, Jack Saltzgaver, cash, and 2 players to be named.

t. Louis Cardinals

Reese played the 1932 season with the St. Louis Cardinals, who had selected him off of waivers in June.

Los Angeles Angels

The Los Angeles Angels (PCL) purchased Reese's contract from the Cardinals in February 1933. He hit .330 in 104 games, but missed a large part of the season because of injuries and illness.

In 1934 he batted .311, with 12 triples, and led all second basemen in fielding percentage (.972).

The 1935 and 1936 seasons found him still with the Angels.

an Diego Padres

In 1937 he was traded to the San Diego Padres, where he hit .314 and helped the Padres win the Governor's Cup. [http://bioproj.sabr.org/bioproj.cfm?a=v&v=l&pid=11741&bid=1077]

1938 was his last year in the PCL.

After his playing career

During World War II, Reese served briefly in the Army, from November 1942 to July 1943. Assigned to the 12th Armored Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, he managed the baseball team there. [http://www.bioproj.sabr.org/bioproj.cfm?a=v&v=l&pid=11741&bid=1077]

After the war he scouted for the Boston Braves for two years, then returned to San Diego as a coach from 1948 until 1960.

In June 1960, he was appointed manager at San Diego, and his team went 34-18 for the rest of the season. He started 1961 as manager, but resigned because he felt he was not cut out to be a manager. "I'm best suited as a liaison man, as a coach," he said. "I just am not suited to give a guy hell." [http://bioproj.sabr.org/bioproj.cfm?a=v&v=l&pid=11741&bid=1077]

From 1963 until 1970 he coached at Hawaii, Seattle, and Portland, Oregon; then he scouted for the Montreal Expos.

Reese never married, had no children, and was mostly estranged from his extended family. In 1972, at age 71, he asked the Angels for a job, and was hired as conditioning coach, whose job was to get men—many of whom were young enough to be his grandsons—into shape. He had an uncanny ability to hit fungos, and led the team during fielding practice. He was listed as an Angel's coach for 22 years, until his death at age 92, on July 13, 1994, in Santa Ana, California, after a brief illness. His uniform #50 was retired by the club in his memory.


*Reese's uniform number (50) has been retired by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

*Legendary pitcher Nolan Ryan named one of his sons Reese as a tribute to Jimmie Reese.

*He was selected as the second baseman on the All-Time Pacific Coast League in 1937.

*He threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the 1989 Major League Baseball All-Star Game, played at Anaheim Stadium.

External links

* [http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/R/Jimmie-Reese.shtml Baseball Cube stats]
* [http://www.fangraphs.com/statss.aspx?playerid=1010775&position=2B Fangraphs stats]
* [http://www.baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Jimmie_Reese BR Bullpen profile]
* [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C0CEEDF103FF937A25754C0A962958260 NY Times obit]

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