Craig Reynolds (baseball)
December 27, 1952 |
|August 1, 1975, for the Pittsburgh Pirates|
|Last MLB appearance|
|September 27, 1989, for the Houston Astros|
|Runs batted in||377|
|Career highlights and awards|
Gordon Craig Reynolds (born December 27, 1952 in Houston, Texas) is a former Major League Baseball (MLB) shortstop who was an inaugural member of the Seattle Mariners. He batted left-handed and threw right.
As a senior at Reagan High School in 1971, Reynolds was named the Greater Houston High School Athlete of the Year. He was drafted straight out of high school by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first round of the 1971 Major League Baseball draft.
Reynolds batted a solid .318 in his first professional season with the Gulf Coast League Pirates, but with no power, and he committed 25 errors on the field. His game improved substantially in all areas by 1974, when he batted .299 with six home runs and logged a .957 fielding percentage while splitting the season at double & triple A. He'd emerged as one of the Pirates' top minor league prospects, batting .294 over five minor league seasons when he made his major league debut in 1975. He spent the 1976 season in triple-A with the Charleston Charlies before being called up to the Pirates when rosters expanded in September.
The Seattle Mariners selected Grant Jackson from the New York Yankees with their eleventh pick in the 1976 Major League Baseball expansion draft. A month later, they traded Jackson to the Pirates for Reynolds and Jimmy Sexton.
Reynolds immediately became the starting shortstop in Seattle. His light hitting usually had him at or near the bottom of the Seattle batting order, however, his lack of strikeouts and ability to move runners over landed him in the second spot in the batting order early in the 1978 season. He was batting .306 with three home runs, 29 RBI and 27 runs scored at the 1978 All-Star break to be named the Mariners' sole representative on the American League squad, but he did not appear in the game. After that season, he was acquired by his hometown Houston Astros in exchange for future AL strikeout champion Floyd Bannister.
After Garry Templeton declined his invitation to the 1979 All-Star Game, National League manager Tommy Lasorda added Reynolds to his team. As a result, Reynolds became the only shortstop in MLB history to be selected to the AL and NL squads in consecutive seasons. He batted .265 his first season with the Astros, but more importantly, he helped solidify the Houston infield with a .965 fielding percentage. After the season, he was presented with the Danny Thompson Memorial Award for exemplifying Christian spirit in the Major Leagues.
Reynolds suffered through a subpar 1980 season, however, the Astros won their first division crown in franchise history. On May 16, 1981, Reynolds tied the major-league record with three triples in one game. He ended the season tied for the league lead with the San Diego Padres' Gene Richards with twelve in spite of the strike-shortened season.
He played with Astros for 11 seasons, finishing second only to Roger Metzger in all-time games played at shortstop for the team.
- Kim Morgan (April 27, 2011). "Reagan hosts famous alumnus". Houston Chronicle.
- "Reynolds Recalled". The Pittsburgh Press. July 30, 1975.
- "Bucs Trade Reynolds For Help in Bullpen". The News-Dispatch. December 7, 1976.
- "1978 Major League Baseball All-Star Game". Baseball-Reference.com. July 11, 1978.
- "Carew Rejects Trade To San Francisco Club". Spokane Daily Chronicle. December 8, 1978.
- "Craig Reynolds Replaces Templeton on All Stars". Bulletin Journal. July 15, 1979.
- "Sports Briefs". The Daily Sentinel. October 11, 1979.
- "Houston Astros 6, Chicago Cubs 1". Baseball-Reference.com. May 16, 1981.
- Trilla Cook (January 3, 2011). "Batting on God's team". Texas Tribune.