13 October 2014

a black armband and a patch for jimmie reese

jimmie reese passed away on july 13, 1994 at the age of 92.  he had spent about 74 of his 92 years in baseball, from his start as a minor leaguer at the age of 18 to his run as a coach that ended with his passing.  in between, he saw a lot of baseball.

to mark his passing, the angels (for whom reese had coached since 1973) added a black armband to their jerseys for the remainder of the season.  although you can't see it on garret anderson's 1995 upper deck card
but the armband included reese's name and number (50 - which had been retired by the angels in the early 1990's).  you can see the text on phil leftwich's 1995 donruss card
as well as andrew lorraine's 1995 fleer ultra card
the angels wore a different memorial on their batting practice jerseys - a circular patch that also contained reese's name and number
it shows up on tim salmon's 1995 score card
which is nice.  i have both the lorraine and salmon cards in my memorials binder.

i will also point out that the hall of fame's site notes that the team wore the memorial(s) into the spring of 1995 - i'm assuming that means spring training. i haven't seen any cards (or photos even) that demonstrate this, probably due in large part because spring training in 1995 began with replacement players who didn't wind up on baseball cards.

reese was well known for his abilities with the fungo bat, whether it was hitting ground balls with precision or 'throwing' bp by hitting line drives over the plate with it.  he was a roommate of babe ruth's and a coach of nolan ryan's making such an impression on ryan that the pitcher named his second son reese after his coach.

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