While additions to the bases in recent years have limited this somewhat, September is often the time for the bench men. From the back of the bulls’ arms to the particular racers, September can be a month that really messes with you when trying to remember players from a particular year. One of the most famous Yankees Of this kind in recent years was Rico Noel. In 2015, Noel was the designated runner of the piracy as the Yankees wrestled for the division and the place of the playoff. He appeared in 15 games that season, but participated in only two.
Noel is not the only Yankee player to have played more games than he has over the years. However, most of them are either a) shooters, rarely getting hit opportunities or b. However, there are some exceptions, most notably, and arguably the final seat man from Yankees history is Jack Reed.
Reed, a multi-sport athlete, played on all baseball, soccer, and track and field teams in college at Ole Miss. He would still be one of a handful of players to have participated in both a major college football game and a World ChampionshipWhich he will do with the Yankees. As for the football half, he helped the Ole Miss emerge in 1953 Sugarywhere they eventually fell to a common national champion Georgia Tech.
Later in 1953, Reed became a professional baseball player and signed a contract with the Yankees. He spent the next two years putting up strong numbers in the minors, but the Yankees weren’t exactly lacking in the outdoor department of the era. After missing the entire 1956 and 57 seasons while serving in the Army, Reed returned to the Yankees system and spent two more seasons in the mansion.
In 1961, Ralph Hawk was appointed as the new manager of the Yankees, which would be good news for Reid. While Hawk had spent the previous two seasons on the coaching staff in the Major League, he had previously managed in the Yankees minor league system and knew the players in it well. Hawk had such a fan following as Mail, who would make the opening day roster for the Yankees in ’61. He would have made his league debut in Game 8 of the season, entering to play midfield for Mickey Mantell in the eighth inning of the season. 4-1 . loss to the Orioles.
This is the role Reed will spend most of the season in, having had a major seat for Roger Maris, Mantell, and the rest of that historic season. While he was playing in 28 games in 1961, Reed started in only three of them and participated in only 14 games in the year. At the World Series that year, he came to play midfield in the ninth inning of the Yankees’ three victories, and was on the field as the Yankees won the Series 5 playoff.
Next year will see Reed play a similar role, even though he scored his first major league debut at home, a pivotal role in a totally wild game. On June 24th against the Tigers, Reed hit the go-ahead and eventual winner of the match in a 22-game win, the longest game in Yankees history. He was also going to collect another World Championship episode in 62, although he won’t appear in the series this time around.
In 1963, Reed appeared in 106 career-highest games, which was actually more than he played Mantle or Maris. However, once again, his role was the bench man, and he still had fewer trips to the plate than either. The Yankees were dropping at the World Series that year, with Reed never appearing again in the series.
Since he didn’t reach the adult stage until he was already 28, Reed’s MLB career would be short-lived. He returned to minors the next year and played 77 games, but took on the role of player and coach. He then spent two seasons managing the palace’s affairs before returning to his hometown to run the family farm.
As for his career, Jack Reed made 222 appearances as a Yankee. In it, he made only 144 board appearances, having hit .233/.308/.326, good for a 76 OPS+. The fact that he was a defensive player and often featured in Mantle, earned him the nickname “Mantle’s Legs” and Samuel Beard’s nickname “Babe Ruth’s Leg”. Not counting shooters, 222 is by far the largest number of games played by a Yankee who has not averaged 1 PA per game.
As mentioned, the players it usually happened to didn’t last for long. Reed did, and that’s because he obviously had something his teammates and coaches valued, which made him the best player off the bench.