02 March 2015

pee wee's patch

harold henry "pee wee" reese passed away on august 14, 1999 at the age of 81.  the dodgers quickly added a memorial patch to their uniforms, to be worn for the remainder of the season.  the patch, seen below
included the nickname "pee wee" and his retired jersey number, 1.

because it was relatively late in the season, examples of the patch on 2000 cards are fairly limited.  here's a 2000 upper deck mvp eric gagne card that shows the patch
it was placed on the left sleeve, above the dodger heroes patch worn by each player.  pee wee was included in the hero patch series, but i do not have a card of mark grudzielanek (who wore the reese hero patch) showing both patches.

this 2000 upper deck victory jeff shaw card
gives us another look at the memorial patch, including a close-up in the inset photo.

the patch is also visible on adrian beltre's 2000 fleer focus card
and the only other card i have that shows the patch is this 2000 pacific dodgers diamond leaders card
there's grudzielanek, but it's eric karros who is displaying the patch.  if only this getty images photo of chan ho park had found its way onto a card...
for the record, i have both the gagne and the diamond leaders card in my memorials binder.  i couldn't choose between the two, so they are both in there.

here are a couple of cards of pee wee himself, a 1992 ziploc card, 
and a 2003 mlb showdown 
i believe that this card is a promo, based on the foil stamp and the 'p51' numbering.  there's another version in the regular showdown set that lack the foil and is numbered 119.  kudos, by the way, to ziploc for using the older dodger logo on reese's card, although they coupled that brooklyn dodger logo with a photo of reese wearing a los angeles dodger cap.  sigh.

reese was the captain of the dodger teams of the 1950's, but he made his debut in 1940.  the following season, he became the dodgers' regular shortstop, and he helped the club win the pennant for the first time since 1920.  that marked the first of seven world series in which reese would play over the course of his career.  the dodgers faced the yankees in all of them, and won only the 1955 contest.

reese moved west with the dodgers in 1958, and was the starting shortstop for the los angeles dodgers' first game.  he played in only 58 more games that year, however, in what would be his last big league season.  reese was a 10-time all-star with 8 top ten mvp finishes over his 16-year career that spanned 19 years (3 seasons were lost to military service during world war ii).  he finished with 2170 hits and 1210 walks for an on-base percentage of .366.  although he later lamented the number of bases on balls he took ("if i had my career to play over, one thing i'd do differently is swing more. those 1200 walks i got…nobody remembers them."), his 1210 walks were within the top 15 career leaders at the time of his retirement and greatly contributed to his having scored as many runs as he did (1338) during his career. in 1984, reese was inducted into the hall of fame, and the dodgers retired his jersey as they do for their hall of fame players.

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