Tuesday, July 20, 2010

“Pistol” Pete Reiser Collection

The recently opened Huggins & Scott Auction includes a massive collection of "Pistol" Pete Reiser cards and memorabilia. Peter Reiser was one of the more heralded rookie ballplayers to ever put on a Brooklyn uniform in the early 1940's. He could hit for average, had some power, would play the outfield with speed and determination, and could swipe a few bases when desired. Pete was a 5-tool player.

Unfortunately, Pistol Pete was also very unlucky. As Vin Scully mentioned last night during the game against the Giants, Reiser was accident prone. I'll add that he was probably a little reckless too.
Reiser gave great effort on every play in the field, and was therefore very injury-prone. He fractured his skull running into an outfield wall on one occasion (but still made the throw back to the infield), was temporarily paralyzed on another, and was taken off the field on a stretcher a record 11 times. Pete was once given his last rites in the ballpark.
He either had balls of steel or knocked too many marbles around in his noggin. Anyway, here are some pics from the auction that includes 55 different vintage and scarce Pete Reiser cards.
(Huggins&Scott Auction Link)


  1. One of my favorite factoids about Reiser was that he was declared a free agent after the Cards tried to hide him in the Dodgers' minor leagues, with the tacit understanding that the Dodgers would give him back to the Cardinals upon request. Eventually,

    1) his play was so phenomenal the Dodgers couldn't abide by this request, and
    2) the man who tried to pull this shenanigan, Branch Rickey, would join his former charge with the Dodgers, where he would start a dynasty.

    Reiser, of course, was a sort of ur-Darin Erstad, and in the days before modern orthopedic surgery and padded outfields, was doomed to a brief career.

  2. Actually, he was declared a free agent, then the Dodgers signed him, etc.


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