8 points about Rich Reese
- For some reason I always got Rich Reese and his Twins teammate Rich Rollins confused. Reese played first base and the other Rich- Rollins played third. Rich Reese was a left handed hitting and throwing first baseman who also played some left field during his career. He was 6’3″ 185. He played for the Minnesota Twins from 1964-1972 and in 1973 the Detroit Tigers and then back to the Twins where he finished up his career- his final game was on his 32nd birthday.
- Career stats read as follows- 52 home runs, 245 RBI, .253 career batting average with a .312 career on base percentage, he had 16 stolen bases. His best year is easily identified- 1969 when he had career highs with 16 home runs, 69 RBI and a .322 batting average. Where did that year come from?
- Although he made his major league debut at the age of 24 in 1964- he only had a total of 16 at bats in his brief major league appearances from 1964-66 and in 1967 he only had 101 at bats. He finally stuck in 1968 and had a 5 year run as a regular.
- Reese was Nolan Ryan’s record breaking #383 strike out victim when Ryan broke Koufax’s single season strike out record in 1973 It was the last game that Reese played in MLB.
- Reese was also a strike out victim in another historic game- he was the final out for Catfish Hunter when he pitched his perfect game on May 8, 1968.
- In 1967 Reese tied for the AL lead in pinch-hits that season with 13.
- Rich Reese is co-holder of the record for pinch-hit grand slams with three. In 1969 one of those grand slams broke Oriole pitcher Dave McNally’s winning streak at 17 wins in a row- one short of the AL record.
- He had a successful post- baseball career in the distillery business-retiring in 2003 at CEO of Jim Beam Brands in Chicago- and is now 76 years old.