Jerry Reuss

Jerry Reuss

June 19, 1949
6' 5"
200 lbs
Major League Debut:
9-27-1969 with SLN


Tall, blond southpaw Jerry Reuss pitched in four different decades, winning 220 games, while toiling for six different teams. He anchored the Pittsburgh Pirate staffs of the 1970s, and later helped the Dodgers win the 1981 World Series. In 1980 he hurled a no-hitter, missing a perfect game when shortstop Bill Russell made a throwing error.

Unform Number

#49 (1969-1971), #47 (1972-1973, 1990), #41 (1974-1986, 1987 Reds, 1988-1989 White Sox), #44 (1987 Angels), #21 (1989 Brewers), #49 (1990)

Quotes From

"I'm looking forward to next season knowing I'll be a starter. That's something I haven't known for a couple of years. And I'll spend the winter at home jogging and getting into condition." — Dodgers lefty Jerry Reuss, late in 1979

Replaced By

In spring of 1990, the White Sox promoted youngsters Jack McDowell and Alex Fernandez to their rotation, and released Reuss as the regular season began.

Best Season

Reuss probably had a better regular season in 1975 for the Pirates, but in '81 for the Dodgers he won two games in the post-season to help the team to the World Series title. He was 10-4 with a 2.30 ERA in the regular season, and then notched a win in the NL Division Series against the Astros, and a victory in the Fall Classic over the Yankees.


While with the Dodgers in the early 1980s, Jerry Reuss was treated by a psychiatrist for his fear of pitching in Chicago's Wrigley Field.

Jerry Reuss won 18 games and had a 2.51 ERA in 1980, despite allowing nine grand slams! The nine slams allowed were a National League record, and Reuss allowed just three additional homers that season.


June 6, 1967: Drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2nd round of the 1967 amateur draft; April 15, 1972: Traded by the St. Louis Cardinals to the Houston Astros for Scipio Spinks and Lance Clemons; October 31, 1973: Traded by the Houston Astros to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Milt May; April 7, 1979: Traded by the Pittsburgh Pirates to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Rick Rhoden; April 10, 1987: Released by the Los Angeles Dodgers; April 18, 1987: Signed as a Free Agent with the Cincinnati Reds; June 14, 1987: Released by the Cincinnati Reds; June 19, 1987: Signed as a Free Agent with the California Angels; November 9, 1987: Granted Free Agency; March 29, 1988: Signed as a Free Agent with the Chicago White Sox; July 31, 1989: Traded by the Chicago White Sox to the Milwaukee Brewers for Brian Drahman; November 8, 1989: Released by the Milwaukee Brewers; March, 1990: Signed as a Free Agent with the Chicago White Sox; April 3, 1990: Released by the Chicago White Sox; April 14, 1990: Signed as a Free Agent with the Houston Astros; May 14, 1990: Released by the Houston Astros; July 7, 1990: Signed as a Free Agent with the Pittsburgh Pirates; November 5, 1990: Granted Free Agency.


Reuss struggled with his control early in his career, but evolved into a control pitcher.


Durability. Reuss spent parts of seven seasons on the disabled list.


Pitched a no-hitter on July 27, 1980, against the Giants in Candlestick Park. He was deprived of a perfect game when shortstop Bill Russell committed a throwing error in the first inning to allow the Giants' lone baserunner. Two years later, on June 11, 1982, Reuss again came within one batter of pitching a perfect game. The lefty allowed a leadoff double to Cincinnati's Eddie Milner and then retired 27 in a row for a 11-1 win... Pitching for the White Sox on May 9, 1988, Reuss notched his 200th career win, against the Batlimore Orioles.

Nine Other Players Who Debuted in 1969
Darrell Evans
Bill Buckner
Carlton Fisk
Steve Garvey
Bill Russell
Toby Harrah
Vida Blue
Jerry Reuss
Thurman Munson

Uniform Numbers
#49 (1969-1971), #47 (1972-1973, 1990), #41 (1974-1986, 1987 Reds, 1988-1989 White Sox), #44 (1987 Angels), #21 (1989 Brewers), #49 (1990)

Similar Players
Mickey Lolich, Joe Niekro, Rick Reuschel, Jerry Koosman

Related Players
After Reuss poulled a hamstring, Fernando Valenzuela earned the opening day assignment for the Dodgers in 1981, launching his phenomenal rookie season... Reuss retired with 220 wins, but never having won 20 in a season, a record. Later, Frank Tanana finished his career with 233 wins and no 20-win seasons.

Hall of Fame Voting
Year     Election     Votes     Pct
1996     BBWAA     2     .4%

6/27/1980: For LA (N) vs. SF (N), 4-0 at SF. 9 innings pitched.

Post-Season Appearances
1974 National League Championship Series
1975 National League Championship Series
1981 National League Championship Series
1981 National League Division Playoffs
1981 World Series
1983 National League Championship Series
1985 National League Championship Series

Post-Season Notes
Reuss recorded a dismal 2-8 post-season record in 11 starts, but his ERA was a respectable 3.58. In Game One of the 1974 NLCS he was defeated 3-0 by Don Sutton; in Game Two of the 1981 NLDS he pitched nine shutout innings, but his teammates could not score off Joe Niekro; in Game One of the 1983 NLCS Steve Carlton beat him 1-0, wasting eight innings of four-hit ball by Reuss... Reuss threw a five-hit shutout in Game Five of the 1981 National League Division Series against the Houston Astros, out-dueling Nolan Ryan.

1981 World Series, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Jerry Reuss, Los Angeles Dodgers, Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Cardinals
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