Thursday, March 17, 2005

 
March 17th, 1919

Pete Reiser Born

Pete Reiser is a member of the "Lost It in the War" club. As a twenty-two year old rookie in 1941 Reiser won the batting title (.343) and also led the league in slugging percentage, total bases, doubles, triples, runs, OPS+ and was second in hits. He finished second in the MVP voting to teammate Dolph Camilli who led the league in the more important (to the voters, that is) statistics of home runs and RBIs. Reiser wasn't quite as good in 1942 but still hit .310/.375/.462, his overall numbers damaged by the concussion he suffered in the course of proving that in the battle of Man vs. Wall, the Wall will always win. After that season, Reiser spent three years in the Army. Reiser's first season back in 1946 he hit .277/.361/.428 and although he rebounded to post decent numbers in 1947, Reiser would never play one hundred games again and bounced from Brooklyn to the Boston Braves to the Pirates to the Indians before he retired in 1952. His pre/post war split is drastic:

Pre-War: .321/.378/.495
Post-War: .272/.377/.409

Although Reiser had a better post-war batting eye, it was necessary to simply match his OBP to the pre-war total after the loss of nearly fifty points of batting average, and he could do nothing towards making up for the loss of more than eighty-five points of slugging percentage. Pete Reiser might have never developed into a star, but spending his age twenty-four through twenty-six seasons fighting a war instead of swinging a bat significantly hurt his chances.





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