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 Harold Patrick “Pete” Reiser

Harold Patrick “Pete” Reiser

Birth
Saint Louis, St. Louis City, Missouri, USA
Death 25 Oct 1981 (aged 62)
Palm Springs, Riverside County, California, USA
Burial Cathedral City, Riverside County, California, USA
Plot Section C-12, grave 219
Memorial ID 7410105 · View Source
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Major League Baseball Player. Harold Patrick Reiser was born in 1919 in St. Louis, he died at the age of 62 in 1981 in Palm Springs, California. At age 15, an underage Reiser wowed St. Louis Cardinal scouts, at 17, in 1937, Reiser signed with the Cardinals as an amateur free agent, in 1938 he signed as a free agent with the Brooklyn Dodgers for $100, he played in the minor league for Elmira. On July 23, 1940, at age 21, Pete Reiser debuted for the Brooklyn Dodgers, by 1941, his first full Rookie season, Harold "Pistol Pete" Reiser had a truly amazing year in baseball playing 137 relatively injury-free games (missing less than 20 games and hospitalized only a few times in 1941) for the Dodgers, and his first manager Leo Durocher. Reiser was the National League's batting champ in 1941 with a .343 average, and led the league in 6 other categories: 39 Doubles, 17 triples, 117 runs, 299 total bases, 70 extra base hits, and a .553 slugging percentage. According to Robert L. Burnes, Resier was nicknamed "Pistol Pete" because of an early fondness for western movies. Even though Pete was not large, at only 5 feet 10 & 1/2 inches and 185 lbs, Reiser could run a blazing 9.8 seconds 100-yard dash. He was a powerful switch hitter, who usually batted left, and threw right, primarily an outfielder, who also played third base for the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1940-1942. While serving in the Army during World War II from 1943 to 1945, he learned to throw with both hands. Leo Durocher said, "And he could throw at least as good as Willie [Mays] right handed and left handed." Reiser said he had his worst injury during his military years. "I plowed through a fence playing with Fort Riley, rolled down a 25-foot embankment and came up with a shoulder separation," Reiser said. "It wasn't as serious as the head injuries but it did more to end my career. The shoulder kept popping out of place, more bone chips developed, and there was constant pain in the arm and shoulder." Pete went back to Brooklyn after the war from 1946-1948, then bounced to the Boston Braves from 1949-1950, the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1951, and his final team was the Cleveland Indians in 1952. He played in two World Series: center field in 1941, hitting a double, a triple, and a home run, and again in 1947, losing to the Yankees in both series. He gave 110% hustle on every play of every game. He demonstrated this all or nothing attitude by crashing into fences and other obstacles and being carried off the field 11 times during his 12 year career. He was hurt badly after hitting the center field wall at Ebbets Field and was given his last rites. In other incidents: he fractured his skull (but still made the throw), separated his shoulder, broke both ankles, tore knee cartilage, and was temporarily paralyzed after another scare. Pete was on pace to be the league batting champion again in 1942, batting at a .383 clip, until he ran into the concrete outfield wall at full speed (no padded walls in those days). The 1942 injury plagued him for the rest of the season, and he finished 4th in batting at .310 (just behind Stan Musial), while Brooklyn dropped to 2nd in the NL standings. Pete tore through the bases on every hit, and was among the best in the league in stolen bases, he set an NL record in 1946 that still stands today for stealing home base 7 times in one season, in 1947 Jackie Robinson and Reiser finished one-two in steals. Reiser was committed to baseball at all costs; Reiser was quoted as saying, "I'm going to catch that ball; regardless of the outcome style of play." Leo Durocher said, " Mays had everything. Pete Reiser had everything but luck." and ultimately, the broken bones, bruises, dizziness, vertigo, and injuries forced him to retire on July 5, 1952. Pete said, "God gave me the legs, and I took myself to the wall." During the 1960's, Reiser was hired by then Chicago Cubs manager Durocher to be part of the Cubs coaching staff. After that Pete managed in the minors for several years, but was forced to leave after a heart attack. Because of his WWII military service, combined with an rough injury riddled career, Pete played only 4 full seasons. His career stats are: .295 average in 861 games, 473 runs scored, .380 on base percentage, and 87 career stolen bases. He was selected to the All-Star team 3 times in 1941, 1942, and 1946, and even though he has not been inducted into the Hall of Fame, because of amazing stats during a shortened career, "Pistol Pete" is considered by many to be in the top 100 baseball players of all time.

Bio by: edh


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Inscription

SGT. US Army, WWII


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Graving Queen of the OC
  • Added: 3 May 2003
  • Find A Grave Memorial 7410105
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Harold Patrick “Pete” Reiser (17 Mar 1919–25 Oct 1981), Find A Grave Memorial no. 7410105, citing Desert Memorial Park, Cathedral City, Riverside County, California, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .