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“Pee Wee” Reese, Baseball Hall of Famer

As a child, Harold Henry Reese was a champion at marbles. But he earned his lasting fame in another sport—as the captain of the Brooklyn Dodgers, for whom he played shortstop for 16 seasons beginning in 1940. One thing he carried from marbles to baseball was the lifelong nickname “Pee Wee.”

During his time with Brooklyn, the Dodgers won the National League championship seven times. Pee Wee himself was an eight-time All-Star and is the Dodgers’ all-time leader in runs scored and walks.

Reese was also a champion for integration, helping to break down the color barrier through his friendship with Jackie Robinson, the major leagues’ first African-American player of the modern era. Together, Reese and Robinson made up one of the most feared double-play combinations in baseball history.

After baseball, Reese worked as a broadcaster and served on the professional baseball staff at Hillerich & Bradsby, maker of the Louisville Slugger. He was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1984.

Reese died in his hometown of Louisville on August 14, 1999 at the age of 81. A statue honoring him stands outside the entrance to Slugger Field, home of the Louisville Bats and site of the 2008 Triple-A All-Star Game.

Program 118
Basketball coach Denny Crum, the Derby Festival Spelling Bee, Dress for Success, and a retrospective on baseball legend “Pee Wee” Reese. (#118)