Allie “Superchief” Reynolds was a flame-throwing right-hander who suffered much of his career from bone chips in his elbow. It was once written of Allie – exaggeratedly mind you – that when he threw, his elbow sounded like the dice tables at Vegas.
Reynolds made his debut during World War II with the Cleveland Indians. The Tribe had lost their ace pitcher Bob Feller when he enlisted in the Navy shortly after the Bombing of Pearl harbor and thus needed a new arm to carry the load. Now, nobody could be asked to carry the load that Feller handled, but Allie did a serviceable job, entering the Indians rotation and leading the AL in strikeouts as a rookie.
After a so-so 1944 season, Allie notched 18 wins in ’45 and finished fourth in the junior circuit in the strikeouts department. If Allie had a weakness during his career, it was his penchant for allowing runners to reach via the free pass. Superchief led the AL with 130 walks in 1945 and had eight seasons of 100 or more walks. But Allie offset those base on balls with his high strikeout totals and his ability to gather victories.
After a relatively poor showing in 1946, Reynolds was traded to the Yankees for slugging second baseman Joe Gordon and his career took off. Reynolds led the AL in winning percentage his first year in pinstripes, posting a 19-8 record for the Bronx Bombers. He tied for second place in shutouts and finished fourth in strikeouts. In 1948, Allie led Yankees hurlers in innings pitched and carried them to a World Series title in 1949. For the ’49 Yanks, Superchief was 17-6 and had a perfect 0.00 ERA in the World Series. He tossed a shutout in Game 1 and earned the save in Game 4.
The first year of 1950s Allie finished second to Bob Lemon in the strikeouts department, but Allie had more put-’em-away than Lemon. Lemon averaged 0.590 strikeouts per inning while Allie averaged a superior 0.664. Also, Allie was far more unhittable than his Hall of Fame peer. Lemon averaged 0.976 hits per inning while Reynolds averaged 0.892. To finish the season off, Allie led the Yankees to another world title, posting a 0.87 ERA in two games.
Allie’s seven shutouts in 1951 topped the junior circuit and he missed far more bats on average than his Hall of Fame peers. Allie averaged 0.774 hits per inning. Hall of Famer Bob Feller (0.956), Bob Lemon (0.928), Early Wynn (0.828) and Warren Spahn (0.894) were all more hittable hurlers than Superchief. Allie used his exceptional swing-and-miss abilities to gather yet another World Series Championship for the Yanks. He reached 20 wins for the first and only time in his career in 1952. It was his finest season. Allie led the AL in strikeouts, shutouts and ERA and put the icing on the cake in October, winning two World Series games on a 1.77 ERA with 18 strikeouts.
Six straight years of 200+ innings caught up with Allie in 1953 and he served as a spot-starter and long arm out of the pen. He saved 13 games for the Yankees and helped them to their fifth straight World Series title, winning the deciding Game 6. He had one final year in his arm, posting a 13-4 record with a 3.32 ERA for the Yanks in ’54.
Reynolds has a strong .630 winning percentage to his credit and was a dominant pitcher in World Series play. He had a 7-2 Fall Classic record with a 2.79 ERA.
W 182/L 107/PCT .630/G 434/CG 137/IP 2,492/H 2,193/BB 1,261/SO 1,423/SHO 36/ERA 3.30