Pee Wee Reese

The Life of a Brooklyn Dodger


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About the Book

Harold “Pee Wee” Reese may have been the most beloved Brooklyn Dodgers player of all time. During a 16-year career in the 1940s and 1950s, he delivered timely hits, made countless acrobatic defensive plays at shortstop, and stole hundreds of bases for clubs that won seven pennants and, in 1955, finally overcame the Yankees to win the World Series.

Reese may be best remembered, however, for a gesture of solidarity. The year and the location vary with the telling, but witnesses agree on this crucial detail: During one of Jackie Robinson’s early tours of the National League, as catcalls and racial taunts rained down on him, the Southern-born Reese draped an arm across the infielder’s shoulder and stood alongside him, facing the crowd.

In this first full-length biography of Reese, author Glen Sparks digs into Hall of Famer’s life and career, his leadership both on and off the field, and the reasons that Brooklyn fans fell in love with the Boys of Summer.

About the Author(s)

SABR member Glen Sparks worked as a sportswriter and newspaper reporter for many years and is now a freelance writer. He lives in St Louis, Missouri.

Bibliographic Details

Glen Sparks
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 307
Bibliographic Info: 12 photos, bibliography, notes, index
Copyright Date: 2022
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7790-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4438-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Preface 1
1. “Man, Pee Wee ought to be your middle name” 5
2. “Brooklyn’s in the major leagues, isn’t it?” 14
3. “Skip, where do you buy your clothes?” 26
4. “I’m trying to teach him to holler” 39
5. “Another guy I’ll have to beat out for a job” 52
6. “As boyish as ever” 66
7. “I looked at it, and I just flatly refused” 80
8. “Reese? Now, you’re talking about a ballplayer” 95
9. “Just don’t make me out to be a hero” 108
10. “That’s why we called him ‘Captain’” 116
11. “(Pee Wee Reese) will be the 1951 skipper” 129
12. “I don’t believe it” 141
13. “Not guilty” 156
14. “One hundred and eighty pounds of dynamite” 169
15. “He’s not swinging a bat” 182
16. “I said to myself, ‘This can’t be true’” 194
17. “You’re getting good in your old age” 208
18. “So, Pee Wee did it for Walter” 222
19. “Let’s see, folks. Where were we?” 234
20. “He was the heart and soul of the boys of summer” 246
Chapter Notes 257
Bibliography 287
Index 291