Pete Reiser : The Rough-and-Tumble Career of the Perfect Ballplayer

Sidney Jacobson

I love baseball. I love the stories, the stats, the rich and detailed history, the human drama and all that. What I don't care much about is baseball as it exists today in the major leagues. So I tend to read things about the past. Reiser played in the 40's, and he really wasn't the perfect ballplayer of the title. He was an exceptional player, but he had an almost fatal flaw. He was an infielder playing in the outfield, and he had no judgement when it came to location as it related to the outfield walls. He kept running into them chasing fly balls. In 7 major league seasons he ran, usually full out, into outfield walls 7 times. Unfortunately for him, many of those walls in the 40's were made of concrete. Not good. His is a sad story of what 'might have been' had he stayed healthy. As it was, he had some good years, but all too few of them.