Pillar of Achievement - 1990
Jimmy Reese was involved in professional baseball for 78 years, his final 23 years as California Angels’ conditioning coach. He was still active with the Angels when he died in July, 1994, at the age of 92.
The long and colorful career of the man born James Hymie Solomon began in 1917, as a batboy for the original Los Angeles Angels of the Pacific Coast League. Reese held that job until 1923, when the PCL’s Oakland Oaks hired him as their second baseman. Jimmy spent most of his play-ing days with the Oaks, setting a 13-season career fielding record of 9,890 chances, and honored by being named the PCL's all-time second baseman.
In 1929, he was traded to the New York Yankees, and responded by hitting .336 in his first season as back-up second baseman to Tony Lazzeri, an eventual Hall of Famer. During his tenure with the Yankees, Jimmy roomed with Babe Ruth. Two years later, he was traded to the St. Louis Cardinals. Again, it was his fate to play behind another future Hall of Fame star, this time Rogers Hornsby. In his three-year big league career, Jimmy had 742 at-bats in 232 Major League games and hit .278. (As a Major League pinch-hitter, he owned an extraordinary .455 average--15 pinch-hits in 33 at-bats.)
Jimmie would continue to play and manage in the minor leagues until entering U.S. Army service during World War II. After the war, he was a scout, coach or manager for seven minor league organizations before joining the Angels in 1973.