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Pee Wee Reese
#1 | Shortstop | Los Angeles Dodgers/Brooklyn Dodgers

Harold Henry Reese: "The Little Colonel"

     The captain of the Dodgers teams of the 1950s, his subtle leadership, competitive fire and professional pride complemented his dependable glove at shortstop, reliable baserunning and clutch-hitting as significant factors in seven Dodger pennants.  He was also instrumental in easing the acceptance of Jackie Robinson as the major leagues' first black ballplayer.  When Robinson arrived in Brooklyn amid enormous pressures and player resentment, it was Reese who set the example of acceptance, putting his arm around Robinson's shoulder on the field, showing the world he was Robinson's teammate and friend.


     Reese had a good batting eye and retired with a lifetime OBA of .366 - he was otherwise an unexceptional hitter, but at least didn't cost his team any runs with his bat.  As a fielder, he was smooth, and he became the premier shortstop of his era, an All-Star each year from 1947 to 1954.  Interestingly, he led the National League in range factor just once, and in fielding average just once.  Perhaps this a result of the power pitchers who worked for the Dodgers during his career - Don Newcombe, Don Drysdale, and Preacher Roe, for instance - yielding relatively few ground balls.  At any rate, he was a well-respected fielder.


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