Pee Wee Reese
Harold Henry Reese
Nickname: Little Colonel
Born: July 23, 1918 in Ekron, Ky.
Died: Aug. 14, 1999 in Louisville, Ky.
Debut: 1940 | Pos: SS
H: 5'9" | W: 175 | B: R | T: R
>> Visit the Pee Wee Reese biography on Baseball Almanac for complete statistics.
Pee Wee Reese, a Hall of Fame shortstop from the Dodgers, died on Aug. 14, 1999 in Louisville, Ky. He was 81.
Reese had been an eight-time All-Star and had been a member of seven National League Pennants with the Dodgers. In his career, he hit .269 with 126 home runs and 885 RBI. His career lasted from 1940 until 1958 -- the Dodgers' first season in California.
He was inducted into baseball's Hall of Fame in 1984.
"He was the heart and soul of the 'Boys of Summer'," Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully was quoted as saying at the time of Reese's death.
One of Reese's biggest moments in baseball, however, didn't happen on the playing the field -- it played a key role in Jackie Robinson's integration of baseball in 1947. During one time when Robinson was receiving a great deal of abuse at Crosley Field in Cincinnati, Reese walked over and put his arm around Robinson's shoulder -- a show of unity from a white and black player.
Reports say that became a moment of transition for Robinson and, later, the two would play golf and tennis together during road trips.
Later, he paid tribute to Robinson's efforts.
"To do what he did has got to be the most tremendous thing I've ever seen in sports," Reese is quoted as saying.
Following his career as a player, Reese worked as a broadcaster with CBS, NBC and the Reds. He later became director of the college and professional baseball staff at Hillerich & Bradsby, the maker of Louisville Slugger bats.
Reese had been troubled by a number of health problems in recent years including a battle with prostate cancer, radiation treatment for lung cancer and he was recovering from a broken hip at the time of his death.
Source: Associated Press, Total Baseball