Thursday, November 13, 2014
no. 349 - rich reese
Who is the man: Rich Reese played in a career-high 153 games in 1970 after a breakout year in 1969 in which he batted .322 for the AL West-winning Minnesota Twins.
Can ya dig it: That's quite the wide stance there.
Right on: It appears that the Twins are playing the Yankees in this photo. I'm wondering if Thurman Munson is the catcher, which would make yet another cameo for the king of early '70s cameos.
You see this cat Reese is a bad mother: Reese is probably most remembered by Twins fans as the man who hit a pinch-hit grand slam in 1969 against the Orioles to win the game for Minnesota and end pitcher Dave McNally's win streak at 17 straight games, which was one short of the AL record.
Shut your mouth: Reese went on to work for Jim Beam after his baseball career and eventually became CEO for the company. He said he gave the name to the vodka drink "Blueberry Muffin".
No one understands him but his woman: Reese was beginning what would be a precipitous decline in 1970. In '71, he'd hit .219 and a couple years later he couldn't get to .200. Reese replaced Harmon Killebrew at first base when Killebrew returned to third in 1968. But the Twins' investment in Reese caused them to term infield prospect Graig Nettles expendable and he was dealt to the Indians. Reese was a part-time player for the Twins by '73.
(A word about the back): Sure, career highs in games, at-bats, runs and stolen bases (woooo -- five!), but Topps neglects to mention that Reese had four fewer hits in 1970 than 1969 despite 82 more at-bats. Fewer doubles, homers, RBIs, etc., too.