- 3B, OF, SS
- Pistol Pete
- March 17, 1919
- 5' 11"
- 185 lbs
- Major League Debut:
- 7-23-1940 with BRO
The 1941 NL batting champion, Pete Reiser lost three seasons to war, parts of several to injury, and never realized the greatness that seemed to be his destiny. He was a hustler, like Enos Slaughter and Pete Rose after him, sprinting down the first base line on every groundball, breaking up double plays, sliding hard into enemy fielders, diving for fly balls, and crashing into fences. His go-for-broke playing style proved to be his Achilles heel.
"Sure, if I could have avoided bouncing off fences, maybe I'd still be up there. I'm sure I would have lasted a lot longer than I did." Reiser in 1956 "My record speaks for itself. I wanted to play every day, but there were times when the pain was so bad that I felt I couldn't help the club, so I'd ask to sit out a game. A couple of times, when I felt better the next day, I'd tell Burt Shotton and he'd put me back. But then, maybe he got tired of that. After a while, when I asked to be taken out, I'd be out for long spells, even when I was ready." — in 1956, recalling his problems with Dodger manager Burt Shotton
As a 17-year old, Reiser was granted free agency by commissioner Landis after being stuck in the Cardinals farm system. He signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers for $100.
While Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams fought over headlines in the AL, Reiser had them in the National League in '41. He blazed across the baseball world - leading his league in batting (.343), runs (117), doubles (39), triples (17), and slugging (.558). He was a terror in the outfield, and he played in a career-best 137 games. The Bums won their first pennant in 21 seasons.
In 1946, Dodgers outfielder Pete Reiser was offered $100,000 by Jorge Pasquel to jump to the Mexican League. Reiser refused the offer.
After butting heads with manager Burt Shotton, Reiser asked Branch Rickey to be traded. He was dealt to the Braves.
- Pete Reiser