Touring The Bases With…Jerry Reuss
Jerry Reuss, a 6’5″ southpaw, was drafted by his hometown St. Louis Cardinals right out of high school in the second round of the 1967 amateur draft. After spending two years in the minors, the then 20-year-old made his major league debut on September 27, 1969 and tossed seven brilliant innings against the Montreal Expos, allowing only two hits and three walks while fanning three. After two mostly mediocre seasons with St. Louis, Reuss was dealt to Houston in 1972. In his two seasons with the Astros, the lefty led the league in hit batsmen (1972), and walks and games started (1973).
In the fall of 1973 he was traded to Pittsburgh and won a career-high 18 games in 1975 with a nifty 2.54 ERA, and earned an All-Star berth. In 1979 Reuss landed in Los Angeles, and between 1980 and 1985 won 18 games twice more and pitched to an excellent 2.88 ERA over almost 1,200 innings. In 1980 he was runner-up to Steve Carlton in National League Cy Young voting, earned his second and last All-Star nod and finished 20th in MVP voting. After being released by the Dodgers in 1987, Reuss kicked around with several teams—the Reds, Angels, White Sox, Brewers and Pirates—from 1987-1990, and enjoyed one last hurrah when he went 13-9 with a 3.44 ERA for the White Sox in 1988 at the age of 39.
He finished his 22-year major league career with a record of 220-191 and an ERA of 3.64 in almost 3,700 innings. He was on the 1996 Hall of Fame ballot but failed to garner enough votes to remain on the ballot for future elections.
Here’s a video interview we conducted with Reuss.