THE PHORGOTTEN, PART 2: RONN REYNOLDS

Ronn Reynolds 1987 Topps (#471)

Ronn Dwayne Reynolds was a star-crossed player. The closest he came to a championship was 1979, when the University of Arkansas was defeated 2-1 in the College World Series by Cal State Fullerton. He was drafted twice: once in 1979, by the A’s, but refused to sign. He re-entered the draft one year later, picked by the Mets in the same (5th) round. He spent 2 years in the minors before being called up in 1982, the same year that saw the debuts of Gwynn, Boggs and Mattingly.

He spent 3 seasons (’82, ’83 & ’85) with the Mets, where he accumulated a .195 AVG and .258 OBP over 54 games as a backup to Ron Hodges, Junior Ortiz and Gary Carter. His only real claim to fame during these early years is that he didn’t actually catch pitches that weren’t actually thrown by Sidd Finch, a pitching prospect that didn’t actually exist:

Christensen bats righthanded. As he stepped around the plate he nodded to Ronn Reynolds, the stocky reserve catcher who has been with the Mets organization since 1980. Reynolds whispered up to him from his crouch, “Kid, you won’t believe what you’re about to see.”

I suppose you could say he came close to another, bigger, championship, because he was a member of the 1986 New York Mets – for 16 days. Along with Jeff Bittiger, he was traded to our beloved Phillies for two minor leaguers (Ronnie Gideon and Rodger Cole), where he played 42 games as a backup to my favorite denizen of the 5th dimension, Darren Daulton.

Fourteen months after putting on his Phillies uniform, he found himself in Houston when he was traded on April 2, 1987 for pitcher Jeff Calhoun (tune in next week). Exactly 6 months later he became a part of baseball lore once again, this time as the victim of the elusive triple steal by the Atlanta Braves. To add injury to insult, Reynolds left the game with “a bruised and lacerated right hand” as a result of the play. He was released 11 days later.

He bounced around the Brewers farm system in 1988. Before he could play a regular season game in 1989, he ruptured his achilles tendon, was granted free agency and signed by the Padres in 1990, the last team he would ever play for.

He played his last Major League game on July 5, 1990, wrapping up his big league career with a total of 142 games played over 6 seasons and a .188 batting average. But the single-most important Ronn Reynolds stat would have to be the 126 stolen bases he allowed in 173 attempts.

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TUG HAINES (@mistertug)

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11 Comments

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11 responses to “THE PHORGOTTEN, PART 2: RONN REYNOLDS

  1. Ender

    Not even I, as deep and brilliant a Phillies archival mind you are ever likely to encounter, can remember this guy. Those were bleak days for the Phils (Len Matuszak? Tim Corcoran?) best left forgotten. The only worse era (in my lifetime, at least) was the Wendell Magee, Jr. epoch.

  2. Tim Worrell and David Bell…

  3. Gonzo

    Yeah, I dont recall this guy either. and I loved those 80s phillies.

  4. Heh. Pretty bleak indeed. I’ve been going through my ticket stubs from the late 80s and early 90s and googling the box scores for the dates on the stubs. I feel a bit like someone desperately rummaging through a shoebox of old lottery tickets – haven’t found a winner yet.

  5. Ender

    Yeah, just Godawful squads… Jose Deleon, Rick Schu… good Christ.

  6. Havoc

    Haha I think Jose DeLeon still plays winter baseball in Puerto Rico, even though he is Dominican

  7. The thing is, the Phils weren’t too-too bad in ’86. They finished second in the NL East. The Mets just steamrolled that year. But they were definitely on their way down at that point.

    Ugh. Jose DeLeon. Remember Marvin Freeman?

  8. Ender

    I remember John Fucking Felske in Spring Training of ’87 acting like the cock of the walk because we finished 2nd the year before… 20.5 games behind the Mets. Yeah, something to brag about.

    I was intimately devoted to those 80’s teams and they CONSTANTLY broke my heart. That may have had more to do with my alcoholic brother promising me 3 times a week we’d go to a game only to leave me waiting on the front steps, glove in hand, every single time.

    But I digress…

    Schmidt on the back half of his prime, the egregiously underrated Von Hayes, the decent-to-good Ozzie Virgil, Chris James, Juan Samuel, Kevin Gross, Steve Bedrosian… those teams should have at least squeaked out one division title. Instead they chose to suck out loud every year.

    Fortunately, though, the rest of MLB liked our players, with James netting John Kruk and Samuel netting Dykstra and McDowell, which were the first building blocks of the magical ’93 run.

  9. Tyler Reynolds

    Hey this is my father, take it easy.

  10. Carol Reynolds

    Even though this is my ex husband…how many of you guys above ever played one day in the big leagues??? Seriously….pretty awesome to ever have that opportunity.. !

  11. Tug Haines

    Googling your ex husband lol

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