Monday, October 10, 2011

#259 - Bob Reynolds

This is the fourth card of Bob Reynolds issued by Topps but the first solo one. That means he had three shared rookie cards which may or not be a record. Each of them was with a different team which has to be a record. In '71 he was an Expo, in '72 a Brewer, and in '73 an Oriole. The '71 card was an interesting one because all three rookies had the surname Reynolds and none was related. There's a little bit of Topps history for ya. Enjoying his freedom, Bob is airing it out in Baltimore, showing a follow through pose not terribly different from his '75 card. And dig those matching cleats.

Bob Reynolds grew up in Seattle with a blazing fastball and by the time he hit his senior year in high school there, his pitches topped 100 miles an hour. After a senior year in which he went 11-2 with a 0.81 ERA and 146 strikeouts in 86 innings he was drafted and signed by the Giants in the first round in '66. That summer he went 10-1 with a 1.89 ERA in Rookie and Single A ball. He then missed all of '67 and part of '68 for military duty. He returned the second year to go 8-6 with better than a strikeout an inning in Double A. After the season he went to the Expos in the expansion draft. Montreal, recognizing that Bob was a one-pitch guy, would give him a bunch of bullpen time while they had him. In '69 he put up pretty good numbers in Triple A (5-3 with a 3.09 ERA and four saves) but '70 was pretty much a bust. After a strong start in '71 out of the pen - 4-2, 2.07 ERA, four saves with over a strikeout an inning - he was traded to the Cards for Mike Torrez. He would get into a couple games up top with not great results before being sent a month later to the Brewers with Jose Cardenal and Dick Schofield for Ted Kubiak. Bob would pitch the rest of the season at Triple A for Milwaukee now as a starter and finish out the season with as good a set of numbers - 2-1 in seven starts with a 1.73 ERA - as he started it. After that year he was sent to the Orioles as the player to be named later in a trade that got the Brewers Curt Motton.

By '72 Reynolds had finally added a slider and change-up to his pitching selection and he put up excellent numbers for the O's in Triple A, going 8-7 with a 1.71 ERA and nine saves in 45 games, again with well over a strikeout an inning. In a couple games up top that fall he did well also. Finally at 26 he got to experience a true rookie season in which he did not disappoint, corralling his wlks and grabbing nine saves to join his excellent ERA. In '74 Bob would move from a long guy to a short guy and nearly match his '73 numbers, going 7-5 with a 2.73 ERA and seven saves. Both years he got playoff time and he posted a 2.57 ERA with six strikeouts (and six walks) in seven innings. Early in '75 he was sent to Detroit for Fred Holdsworth and for the Tigers he joined the rest of the team in posting not great numbers: 0-2 with a 4.67 ERA and three saves in 21 games. He was placed on waivers mid-season and scooped by the Indians for whom he put up nearly identical numbers the rest of the way. In '76 he moved back down to Triple A where he went 6-10 with a 3.71 ERA and three saves out of the pen. In '77 he went to Japan to pitch for the Taiyo Whales and that winter and part of the following season he pitched in Mexico. He was pretty much done after that. Bob finished with a record of 14-16 with a 3.15 ERA and 21 saves.

A lot pf the info for the post I got from a local Seattle newspaper article (linked to here) which describes Reynolds' career and attempts to get a baseball pension. It also provides info on what he did after baseball which was to work as a truck driver from about 1980 to '95 and then as a security guy from '96 until the article was written in 2003. I can't pull up anything on Bob since although it looks like he still resides in the same town he did when the article came out. It's a good read and also references a high-profile incident he had with Frank Robinson. A little more color on that event may be gleaned from the book "The Curse of Roccky Colavito" which I've used as reference on past posts. In spring training of '76 Bob found out he was going back to the minors from a sportswriter instead of from Robinson, his manager (Robinson had been told that the GM at the time would inform Reynolds). When Cleveland came to Toledo for an exhibition game Reynolds, still pissed about the way he was sent down, told people he was going to knock Robby down if his manager came up against him. When Robinson stepped in for the first pitch Reynolds threw one behind his head. Robby called Reynolds gutless, Reynolds then asked him why he didn't tell him he was being sent down, and Robby popped Reynolds twice in the face. So the story in the Seattle paper leaves out a huge part of the back story.

Some decent star bullets are joined by an informational cartoon. Obviously given the nickname because of his lively fastball, when Bob played in Japan in '77 he was asked by a team employee what he was called. Reynolds responded that when he was younger he was called "Bullet" so when he received his uniform it had Bullet on the back since the employee interpreted Bob's answer to mean that that was his actual name.

This one will be a little longer because we have to cross leagues:

1. Reynolds and Earl Williams '73 to '74 Orioles;
2. Williams and Cito Gaston '75 to '76 Braves;
3. Gaston and Jerry Morales ''69 to '73 Padres.

1 comment:

  1. Bill Davis was on *5* Rookie Star multi-player cards from 1965-1969. The first four with the Indians, the last with the Padres.