Dodgers: Top 5 shortstops in franchise history
By Sean Kaufman
Best Dodgers shortstop in franchise history
1. Pee Wee Reese
Pee Wee Reese is a baseball legend. Few players have eclipsed his combination of achievement, both on and off the field. An All-Star in ten consecutive seasons (excluding the three seasons he forfeited fighting in World War II), Reese was an MVP finalist every year from 1942 to 1956.
He was a considerable power threat for a shortstop at the time, walked more than he struck out, and stole as many as 30 bases in a season. He was also essential to the only Dodger World Series win in Brooklyn in 1955. Despite being a lackluster defender early in his career, Reese later garnered a reputation as a stellar defender, and ranks in the top-ten all time in putouts and double plays among shortstops.
As impressive as his on field accomplishments were, we remember Pee Wee Reese more for what he did off the field. He is perhaps best known for his long standing friendship with Jackie Robinson. Reese refused to sign the petition forcing management to trade players who didn’t want to play with Robinson when he was called up. The team stayed intact when Robinson came up, but he was tormented by fans and thrown at by other pitchers.
Pee Wee famously put his arm around Robinson before a game in Cincinnati as a symbol of courage and teamwork. Pee Wee standing up for Jackie helped the rookie settle into the major leagues. Baseball today might look a lot different if it weren’t for Pee Wee. The Dodgers retired Reese’s number 1 on 1984, the same year he was inducted into the Hall of Fame.