Here’s a little story about Archie, Bob, and Ken Reynolds…
- Three pitchers with the same surname but not related.
- They made appearances with Milwaukee in three consecutive years (1971-73), but not on the roster together at any point.
- Each had a brief stay with the Brewers. None of them made more than five appearances or won a game with the Crew.
- Two of them were involved in trades with Curt Motten.
- All three were born in January.
- The three were on a 1971 “Rookie Stars” Topps baseball card together.
Let’s look back at their careers and time with the Brewers, in order of when they played with the team…
“Bullet” Bob Reynolds was born on January 21, 1947 in Seattle, Washington, and gained his nickname after it was discovered he could throw a 100-mph fastball. San Francisco made him the 17th pick of the first round of the 1966 draft, and he spent the next couple years in their minors before Montreal grabbed him in the 1968 expansion draft.
The righty made his first MLB appearance as a September call-up with the Expos in 1969. He went back to the minors until the Expos traded him in June 1971, to St. Louis for future 20-game winner Mike Torrez. He got into four games with the Cardinals in the next six weeks, but found himself part of a controversial trade to the Brewers on July 29. The Cardinals traded Reynolds with outfielder Jose Cardenal and infielder Dick Schofield to the Brewers for Chuck Loseth (minors) and infielder Ted Kubiak.
It became quickly apparent that Cardenal didn’t have a lot of desire to play for the hapless Brewers, and he initially refused to report to the team. “The Cardinals got nothing for me,” he said. “My own teammates are embarrassed by it. I’m too good a player to be thrown around. I wouldn’t have been so disappointed if I had been traded to established clubs like the Cubs, Braves, Dodgers, or Twins.”
While Cardenal turned the matter over to his lawyer and took some time to “cool off,” Reynolds did report to the Brewers and spent the following month in the minors at Evansville. On August 30, he and four other players were named as September call-ups, chiefly to help Milwaukee avoid a cellar finish.
“We don’t want to finish last, so we’re calling up youngsters like Darrell Porter, Rob Ellis, Rich Auerbach, Jerry Bell, and Bob Reynolds,” said GM Frank Lane.
Reynolds made his first appearance in the second game of a doubleheader against Kansas City on September 6. The Brewers had a 3-1 lead in the fifth inning, but starter Marcelino Lopez had walked two batters and allowed them to move to second and third on a wild pitch. Former Brewer Sandy Valdespino greeted Reynolds with a two-run double to start the comeback. When all was said and done, the Royals scored four times and hung on for a 6-4 win, with Reynolds taking the loss.
The Brewers were losing 6-2 to Oakland on September 19 when Reynolds made his next appearance. He cruised through the final two innings at County Stadium, giving up one hit while striking out two. Just 4,200 fans saw the final home game of the season due to chilly temps and consistent drizzle.
Reynolds made his final appearance in a Brewers uniform on September 25 in Oakland. The Brewers somehow figured out a way to beat the powerhouse A’s, 8-6, but Reynolds did not figure into the decision despite pitching well. His three innings of one-hit, no-run ball took the Brewers through the sixth inning.
In December, the Brewers picked up outfielder Curt Motten from Baltimore for cash and a player to be named later. In late March 1972, the Brewers made Reynolds the PTBNL. His best seasons were yet to come. In 1973 with Baltimore, he recorded seven wins against five losses with a 1.95 ERA, nine saves, and had career-numbers in strikeouts (77) and innings pitched (111.0). The next year he again went 7–5, recording seven saves and appearing in a career-high 54 games. He also appeared in the 1973 and ’74 American League Championship Series for the Orioles.
Archie Reynolds was born on January 3, 1946, in California, but grew up in Texas. After high school in Tyler, Texas, he attended Paris Junior College in Paris, Texas. The Chicago Cubs drafted him in 1966 in the 38th round, and from there he tore up Rookie ball and was promoted to Double A in 1967. This started a trend of Reynolds consistently keeping his ERA and walk totals low. Other than 1967 when he posted a 3.08 earned run average, his ERA was below 3.00 each year in the minors until his final stops in the minors in 1973-74.
Unfortunately, Reynolds never got much of a chance to hook on long enough at the big-league level to impress anyone. The Cubs brought him up in late 1968 after he went 13-2 in Double A as a starter. He picked up just one start against San Francisco, which was a loss. In seven games over the final month his ERA was 6.75, and he returned to the minors for most of 1969, except for starting the second game of two doubleheaders.
Reynolds had another seven appearances under his belt with the Cubs in 1970 with a 6.60 ERA before being dealt to the Angels, who sent him to their Pacific Coast League team in Hawaii for the remainder of the season. In 1971 he split time between Salt Lake City and the Angels. With California, he threw his most innings ever (27.1) and had a 4.61 ERA. All but one of his 15 appearances were in relief. Reynolds began 1972 with Salt Lake City and again went back to starting games to much success. On May 26, he was traded to Milwaukee for outfielder Curt Motten.
Reynolds spent most of the remainder of the season with the Triple A Evansville Triplets, where he compiled a 7-5 record with a 2.75 ERA over 113 innings. 15 of his 19 appearances were starts. When left-hander Ken Brett went on the disabled list in mid-July, Reynolds got the call to take his place.
On July 19, Reynolds had his first start against the 54-31 Oakland A’s and Blue Moon Odom, who was carrying an 8-2 record. Reynolds kept the Brewers in the game, working around seven hits in five innings. He struck out six batters and was pulled after five innings and a 2-0 deficit. The A’s added a run in the sixth and broke it open in the seventh with a six-run inning, which included a benches clearing scuffle after Oakland catcher Dave Duncan and Brewers pitcher Jim Colborn argued over Duncan getting hit by a pitch. The A’s prevailed, 9-4.
Reynolds pitched in relief of Colborn three days later at County Stadium against the Minnesota Twins. He got knocked around, giving up four runs in just 1.1 innings. The next day Reynolds was needed badly for long relief in the second game of a doubleheader after starter Earl Stephenson didn’t make it out of the first inning. Reynolds went 4.1 innings with three hits and two runs given up, but the Brewers lost 6-5.
The next appearance for Reynolds was a start on July 30 in the second game of a doubleheader against the Cleveland Indians. He navigated through six innings, but the Brewers defense did him no favors by committing four errors, leading to two runs scored. The Brewers lost 6-1 with all the runs charged to Reynolds.
Reynolds went back to the bullpen and made his final big-league appearance on August 4 at County Stadium against the New York Yankees. Stephenson again only lasted an inning, and after Jerry Bell tossed the next four innings, Reynolds took the hill. He pitched a 1-2-3 sixth but had a rough seventh inning. Singles by Fritz Peterson, Thurman Munson, and Roy White filled the bases, and Bobby Murcer followed with a grand slam. The Yankees won easily, 9-4.
Brett returned from the disabled list on August 8 after 21 days, and Reynolds was optioned back to Evansville. He spent 1973 there as well, before wrapping up his career with Hawaii in 1974, which by then was a San Diego affiliate. In 36 games over five MLB seasons, Reynolds never won a game. He had a career record of 0-8.
Ken Reynolds was another pitcher who had a good run in the minors, but could never quite gain enough traction at the big-league level. The lefty was born on January 4, 1947, in Trevose, PA, and attended college in New Mexico. The Philadelphia Phillies drafted him in the fourth round of the 1966 draft, and he spent the next five seasons in their minors until becoming a September call-up in 1970.
Brought along as a starter, Reynolds continued mostly in this role with the Phillies in 1971-72, starting 48 games in 68 appearances. On November 30, 1972, the Phillies traded him with Joe Lis and former Brewer Ken Sanders to the Minnesota Twins for Cesar Tovar. He never played a regular season game with the Twins, as they traded him at the end of spring training to Milwaukee for third baseman Mike Ferraro.
The Brewers assigned Reynolds to Triple A, and he spent his time there working to a 15-13 record and 3.75 ERA over 216 innings. He allowed 209 hits, 83 walks, and struck out 135 batters. He became a September call-up, but wasn’t used much and only appeared in two games, one as a starter and one as a reliever.
Reynolds started on September 8 at Yankee Stadium, but didn’t last long. Manager Del Crandall decided he wanted to see some of the new faces on his pitching staff, which worked out because Reynolds only lasted 2.1 innings. The Yankees loaded the bases in the first inning before Reynolds hit Graig Nettles with a pitch. Jim Ray Hart followed with a single and New York had a 3-0 lead. They added three more in the third inning. Reynolds left having allowed only three hits, but six runs, and took the loss in an eventual 15-1 rout.
It took nearly three weeks before Reynolds was used again. On September 28, the Brewers kicked off a four-game series at Fenway Park in Boston to end the season. Luis Tiant was going after his 20th win of the season and picked it up easily, as the Red Sox won 11-2. Brewers starter Eduardo Rodriguez lasted one inning, giving up seven runs. Carlos Velazquez made it through the next two innings with three runs allowed. Crandall called on Reynolds to see how far he could go, and he threw the final five innings, with two hits and one run allowed. He was a bit wild and gave up six walks, but got around the baserunners for the most part.
Four days later, Reynolds was again on the move, having been sold to the Cardinals for cash. He spent 1974 and the first few months of 1975 back in the minors, then pitched to a sparkling 1.59 ERA covering 10 relief appearances in the last two months with the Cards. St. Louis traded him at the start of the 1976 season along with a minor leaguer to San Diego for future Brewers pitcher Danny Frisella, who died in a tragic dune buggy accident on New Year’s Day, 1977.
Reynolds did not pitch well for the Padres, and was released during spring training in 1977. The Toronto Blue Jays picked him up late in March, but he only lasted with the team for nine days before being released. Cleveland picked him up and he spent all season in the minors, before returning to Toronto where he spent 1978-79 in the minors before retiring at age 32.
For his MLB career, Reynolds appeared in 103 games, 51 as a starting pitcher and 52 in relief. In 375.2 innings pitched, he surrendered 370 hits and 196 walks, with 197 strikeouts. He lost 12 straight decisions from the start of 1972, tying a National League record.
Extra Innings – Tommie
The focus of this post has been on the Reynolds pitchers, but we can’t forget about Tommie Reynolds, who played for the Brewers in 1972. Primarily a left fielder, Reynolds also saw an equal amount of action in center, and a few innings in right, first base, and third base. The Brewers picked him up via a trade in the offseason for first baseman/outfielder Andy Kosco, and he went on to play in 72 games with just a .200 batting average.
Milwaukee sent him back to the minors in 1973 and he remained at Triple A for the next six seasons, compiling over a .300 batting average in four of those seasons. He had over 500 at bats three times (including 610 in 1977) and came close to that mark with 489 in 1973 and 474 in 1976. He retired from baseball at age 36.
While his career MLB numbers weren’t fantastic, Reynolds hit a combined .424 (36-for-85) against All-Stars Hank Aguirre, Mickey Lolich, Sam McDowell, and Juan Pizarro.
My book Building the Brewers: Bud Selig and the Return of Major League Baseball to Milwaukee is available to be ordered on the McFarland website.
(The story you just read is not part of the book)