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Monday, October 28, 2019

Former Marshall, MLB pitcher gives $1M for college ballpark

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (AP) — A former Marshall University and major league pitcher has donated $1 million to help build the school’s new baseball stadium.

News outlets report Rick Reed’s contribution will go toward a ballpark scheduled to open in March 2021 in Huntington.

Reed says Marshall has been in need of a new stadium for a long time and that he was happy to make the donation.



QLE Posted: October 28, 2019 at 01:13 AM | 13 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: college baseball, rick reed, stadiums

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   1. Rennie's Tenet Posted: October 28, 2019 at 08:09 AM (#5895340)
Reed was a 26th round pick, had a big year in the minors in 1988 to move through Double and Triple A and reach the majors at 23. He beat the Mets, 1-0, in his debut, in August when the Pirates trailed the Mets by 6 games. He yo-yo'd for the next four years, and had some beautifully efficient starts. He didn't have a big fastball and pitched to spots, so when he wasn't on he just got beat up. The Pirates got back to the playoffs in 1990, and were so terrified of throwing a lefty at the Reds that they started RH reliever Ted Power in Game 6, when the Reds took the series. I always wondered if Reed could have could have reversed that, if the Pirates had absorbed a breaking in period for him.
   2. . . . . . . Posted: October 28, 2019 at 09:21 AM (#5895348)
Reed only grossed ~$30M in his career, so this is a substantial donation relative to his earnings! I imagine he must have spent carefully and made good investments, which is not surprising since this is Rick Reed who manufactured a lengthy, successful MLB career out of completely mediocre stuff. Smart guy - and a nice gesture. Normally I'm pretty negative on donations to colleges, but he's a hometown kid and Marshall's baseball program was berry berry good to him.
   3. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 28, 2019 at 09:31 AM (#5895351)
Reed is also known for being a replacement player in 1995. According to Wikipedia:

In 1995, which was Reed's 10th year of pro ball, he agreed to be a replacement player for the Cincinnati Reds during the 1994 Major League Baseball strike. Reed had been scheduled to be the Reds' opening day starter in 1995 if the strike hadn't been settled. He told reporters in 1995 that he sat in his hotel room the weekend before the scheduled start and prayed the strike would end so he wouldn't have to take the mound. "It was their season to start, not mine," Reed said of the regular players.

He then caught on with the Mets and was part of the late-90s revival of the franchise (before Al Leiter or Mike Hampton, he was their best pitcher), putting together a nice 4.5-year run and making 2 All-Star teams before being traded to the Twins mid-season. I always liked him for that reason.

Anyway, as the article notes, Reed is a local Huntington, WV product. Looking at BB-Ref, the other noteworthy Marshall grads to have played in MLB are former Royals closer Jeff Montgomery (from nearby Wellston, OH) and former 1st rounder Aaron Blair, who suffered a number of arm injuries and didn't pitch at all this past season.
   4. ajnrules Posted: October 28, 2019 at 11:21 AM (#5895405)
I remember Rick Reed primarily with the Royals in 1992. He finished only 3-7 despite an above-average 3.68 ERA, but the Royals were pretty awful that year. His final start of the season was a complete game shutout over the California Angels. That game is most notable for George Brett reaching the 3,000-hit milestone in a four-hit night.
   5. PreservedFish Posted: October 28, 2019 at 11:24 AM (#5895408)
I'm not sure I realized that Reed had already reached the majors when he agreed to become a scab. Did crossing picket lines cause Reed to forfeit his health benefits and such?
   6. Brian C Posted: October 28, 2019 at 11:43 AM (#5895417)
I went to a minor league game in Charleston WV this past season and noticed that Marshall plays a lot of their games at the same park, which is thought was strange, since Huntington is not particularly close to Charleston. So neat to know that Marshall's getting around to building a new on-campus stadium, very impressive gift by Reed.

At any rate, I liked the Charleston park. Much different design than the myriad throwback parks throughout MiLB.
   7. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: October 28, 2019 at 01:10 PM (#5895449)

#5 according to Baseball Almanac, the replacement players did not forfeit their pensions and other benefits:

Each of the players below, according to the Players Association, are not allowed union membership. They each are given representation during arbitration or other matters, they all receive pension benefits, but they are not part of the actual union — which essentially means they do not receive any licensing monies and they cannot vote on union matters.
Tim Kurkjian in ESPN The Magazine wrote, "Rick Reed knew. He was pitching for the Reds' Triple-A club, his 10th year of pro ball. He was told by the Reds to cross the line or he'd be released, then blackballed. Reed's mother was sick, he was paying her medical bills, and he couldn't stop working. So he played. Late in the 1995 season, he was recalled by the Reds because they badly needed pitching. General manager Jim Bowden called a team meeting to inform the players of what he was planning to do. One player stood up in the back of the clubhouse and screamed his opposition, claiming he would never be a teammate with a 'scab.'"
   8. Cris E Posted: October 28, 2019 at 01:22 PM (#5895453)
That must have been a tough spot for him. Coming from WV he knows unions and loyalty and what scabs mean to the membership, and still felt he had to cross.
   9. Bote Man Posted: October 28, 2019 at 01:34 PM (#5895457)
I remember an umpire named Rick Reed.
   10. Gary Truth Serum Posted: October 28, 2019 at 04:44 PM (#5895536)
He was told by the Reds to cross the line or he'd be released, then blackballed.

Since most MLB players did not cross the picket line, this raises the question of whether Reed was one of the few players to be given this threat, or was one of the few who believed it.
   11. Tin Angel Posted: October 28, 2019 at 04:50 PM (#5895537)
Normally I'm pretty negative on donations to colleges

But they need donations to help keep tuition so miniscule.
   12. For the Turnstiles (andeux) Posted: October 28, 2019 at 07:03 PM (#5895556)
The owners could not make threats like that to union members (which I think would be anyone on the 40-man roster), and knowing that it would ruin relationships with future teammates (and also that the bluff might be called) they did not do it with real prospects. So it was basically only older fringe players like Reed who got to choose between seeing their careers end and being labeled as scabs for the rest of their lives. It was an incredibly shitty thing for the owners to do.
   13. Traderdave Posted: October 28, 2019 at 07:18 PM (#5895559)
A scab is a guy who shows up and works. If scab is an acceptable term, then strikers should be re-labeled as malingering thugs.

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