Jerry Reuss

Jerry Reuss

Jerry Reuss
Reuss in August 2009
Born: (1949-06-19) June 19, 1949
St. Louis, Missouri
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
September 27, 1969 for the St. Louis Cardinals
Last MLB appearance
October 3, 1990 for the Pittsburgh Pirates
Career statistics
Win–loss record 220–191
Earned run average 3.64
Strikeouts 1,907
Career highlights and awards

Jerry Reuss (born June 19, 1949)—pronounced "royce"—is a former left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball, best known for his years with the Los Angeles Dodgers, who had a 22-year career from 1969 to 1990.

Reuss played for eight teams in his major league career; along with the Dodgers (1979–87), he played for the St. Louis Cardinals (1969–71), Houston Astros (1972–73), and Pittsburgh Pirates (1974–78). At the end of his career (1987–90), he played for the Cincinnati Reds, California Angels, Chicago White Sox, Milwaukee Brewers, and the Pirates again (Reuss is one of only two Pirates to have played for Danny Murtaugh, Chuck Tanner, and Jim Leyland, the other being John Candelaria). In 1988 he became the second pitcher in history, joining Milt Pappas, to win 200 career games without ever winning 20 in a single season.[1] He was one of only 29 players in major league history to play in four different decades.[2]


Reuss was drafted in the second round of the 1967 Major League Baseball Draft by the Cardinals after graduating from Ritenour High School in Overland, Missouri. He won his first major league game in 1969, and became part of the starting rotation in 1970.[3]

In the spring of 1972, Reuss wanted a raise from $17,000 to $25,000 Cardinals owner Gussie Busch was unwilling to give more than $20,000, and when Reuss refused to bend, Busch traded him to the Astros for pitcher Scipio Spinks. The trade looked like a fairly even swap at the time. While Spinks had shuttled between Houston and their top minor league affiliate, the Oklahoma City 89ers, over the last three years, he had been almost unhittable during his minor league stints. However, Spinks never recovered from a freak knee injury suffered that July, and was out of baseball by 1976.

Reuss played two seasons before being traded to the Pirates after the 1973 season for Milt May after a season in which he led the National League in walks with 117.[4]

Reuss was a two time All-Star - first in 1975 with the Pirates, having 18 wins and 11 losses that season and an earned run average of 2.54, and then again in 1980 with the Dodgers, striking out all three batters he faced in that year's game, and earning the win.[4][5]

In 1980 Reuss had one of the best seasons of his career with eighteen wins and only six losses, and leading the majors in shutouts with six; he also threw a no-hitter against the San Francisco Giants on June 27, striking out only 2 batters, narrowly missing a perfect game due to a throwing error in the first inning by shortstop Bill Russell.[6] Reuss finished second behind Steve Carlton in the running for the Cy Young Award, and won the The Sporting News Comeback Player of the Year Award.[7][8]

In 1981 Reuss went 10-4 with a career-low 2.30 ERA in a strike-shortened season, and won two postseason games including one against the New York Yankees in the 1981 World Series, helping the Dodgers win the title.[4] On June 11, 1982, Jerry Reuss recorded 27 consecutive outs in a game, with only the opponent's leadoff batter reaching base (double by Reds' Eddie Milner, who reached third on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a fielder's choice).[9]

Reuss had two more winning seasons with the Dodgers before injuries took their toll from 1984 to 1986, and was released at the beginning of the 1987 season. He then played for the Reds, going 0-5 before getting released again, and then for the Angels before becoming a free agent. Reuss then signed with the Chicago White Sox, having a 13-9 season and earning his 200th career win in 1988, and played a few more seasons before retiring in 1990.[4]


Reuss in September 2008

Reuss became a baseball broadcaster, working nationally for ESPN from 1991 to 1993, and was also a color commentator for the California/Anaheim Angels from 1996-98. He served as a pitching coach with the minor league Iowa Cubs before returning to broadcasting with the Dodgers in 2006, serving as a color commentator alongside Rick Monday.

In 2014, Reuss's autobiography, Bring In the Right Hander!, was published by University of Nebraska Press.[10]

See also


  1. ^ "Reuss Gets His 200th Victory". Los Angeles Times. 10 May 1988. Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  2. ^ "Tenure and Age Records by Baseball Almanac". Baseball-Almanac. Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  3. ^ "1970 St. Louis Cardinals Batting, Pitching, & Fielding Statistics". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Jerry Reuss Statistics and History". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  5. ^ "July 8, 1980 All-Star Game Play-By-Play and Box Score". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  6. ^ "June 27, 1980 Los Angeles Dodgers at San Francisco Giants Play by Play and Box Score". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  7. ^ "1980 Awards Voting". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  8. ^ "Comeback Player of the Year Award by The Sporting News". Baseball-Almanac. Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  9. ^ "June 11, 1982 Cincinnati Reds at Los Angeles Dodgers Play by Play and Box Score". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  10. ^ "Bring In the Right Hander! - University of Nebraska Press". Retrieved 17 March 2014. 

External links

  • Career statistics and player information from Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors)
  • SABR biography
  • BaseballLibrary - biography and career highlights
  • Bring In the Right Hander!
Preceded by
Ken Forsch
No-hitter pitcher
June 27, 1980
Succeeded by
Charlie Lea
Preceded by
Fernando Valenzuela
Los Angeles Dodgers Opening Day
Starting pitcher

Succeeded by
Fernando Valenzuela