Kuttler: Nolan Ryan remembers his old coach, Jimmie Reese

From Hillel Kuttler at the Jewish Baseball Museum on April 11, 2016:

Jimmie Reese was best known for two things – neither being his .278 batting average in three seasons playing infield for the New York Yankees and the St. Louis Cardinals.

Born James Herman Solomon in 1901, Reese reportedly issued one of baseball history’s most exquisite quotes, on being the road-trip roommate of Babe Ruth, a notorious night owl: “I didn’t room with Ruth. I roomed with his luggage.”

And late in life, after decades of managing in the minor leagues and scouting (here is the link to his JBM page), Reese crafted a second baseball career – a long career. That came as a coach with the California Angels. There, he specialized in the art of fungoes: self-hitting baseballs to players on his team prior to games. It is a drill for players to practice catching fly balls and fielding grounders.

Reese’s infectious personality made him a beloved figure with the Angels. So much so that Nolan Ryan named his son for him.

Last year, the Cubs’ Joe Maddon spoke of Reese’s influence in discussing his approach as a manager. “When I was (a coach) with the Angels, Jimmie was probably the most popular coach. He could talk about anything and his sense of humor was good.”

Read the full article here: http://jewishbaseballmuseum.com/spotlight-story/jimmie-reese/

Originally published: April 12, 2016. Last Updated: April 12, 2016.