100 Greatest Phillies: 43 – Ron Reed – Phillies Nation
100 Greatest Phillies

100 Greatest Phillies: 43 – Ron Reed

Ron Reed
Relief Pitcher
1976-1983

Career w/Phillies: 809.1 IP / 57-38 / 90 SV / 3.05 ERA / 547 K

Used primarily as the chief setup man for Tug McGraw, Ron Reed is possibly the most reliable bullpen arm in Phillies history. In eight seasons, Reed kept a low ERA while saving games, pitching multiple innings late in games and displaying uncanny control, walking very few hitters. He came to the Phillies in 1975, traded by the Cardinals despite a good year as a starter. In fact, Reed was a starter throughout his entire 20s with the Braves, pitching well enough to keep a rotation spot for eight full seasons. (He balanced his pitching by playing two seasons with the Detroit Pistons, averaging eight points per game.) But the Phillies converted Reed into a late-innings reliever, and that’s where he truly flourished. He was most impressive in the East-winning 1978 season, recording a 2.24 ERA while throwing more than 108 innings of relief. His role diminished in 1980 and beyond, but he still racked up impressive inning totals and strong peripherals. The Phillies traded Reed to the White Sox for 41-year-old Jerry Koosman in 1984, and the Phils actually got a good season out of the veteran. Reed, meanwhile, had a nice campaign in Chicago, but elected to retire. He became a teacher in his Indiana hometown, retiring from that in 2007.

Comment: A great reliever, and one of the main reasons the bullpens of the late 1970s and 80s were so good. Being that he’s one of a few players with 100 wins and 100 saves, he should be recognized as one of the more underrated pitchers in big league history. Here’s to Ronny.

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. dmarley

    February 12, 2009 at 6:51 pm

    This list has been an excellent refresher course in Phillies history. Thanks for doing it! I especially like seeing the uniform variations over the years. It’s a shame the organization didn’t realize (or did realize and didn’t care) what an iconic logo they had hit upon with the 70s-80s “P”. It’s a companion to and nearly the equal of the Flyers logo, which is really saying something (Flyers logo is one of the best not only in sports but in the entire field of graphic design, imo). I of course understand the attempted historicity of the current bubble logo, but it’s just not that successful as an image. Bring back that P!

    On the other hand, they just won a WFC with the dumb bubble logo. So as a matter of superstition I’d probably wait until they’re no longer WFCs to make the change. May that day never come.

  2. ASHMIDT

    February 12, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    BIG PART OF THOSE GREAT 70S TEAMS,PITCHED 108 INNINGS IN ONE YEAR, YOU DONT SEE THAT ANYMORE. I REMEMBER THE PHILA. JOURNAL HAD A WOMAN BEAT WRITER ONE YEAR AND SHE INTERVIEWED EVERYONE ON THE PHILS, I THINK REED WAS THE ONLY ONE SHE SLAMMED, SHE CALLED HIM A REAL JERK.

  3. Greg V.

    February 12, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    Reed also led MLB in relief wins in 1979 with 13. Funny enough, the only game I’ve seen of his was that crazy game against Chicago in 1979 where the Phillies won 23-22. Reed took over for Tugger after he got smacked around and proceded to get hit pretty hard himself. Reed would settle down and throw a few innings of quality ball. They play it on MLB.com somtimes. Still an amazing game.

  4. Jason B.

    February 12, 2009 at 11:50 pm

    100 wins/100 saves. I would say that’s pretty impressive. Real Jerk or not, his numbers plus his tenure with the team, I’m suprised he’s not a little higher on the list.

  5. Ed R.

    February 13, 2009 at 11:02 am

    I was wondering where Reed would end up on this list. His numbers were hurt by his role, but that’s the way it goes sometimes. Still, I remember feeling very confident whenever I’d see him take the mound. You also had the feeling that if anything happened to McGraw or if the Phils needed an emergency starter then Reed would do just fine. An indispensible cog of the late 70’s-early 80’s Phils. I’d rate him higher than 43rd (just as I felt Ruthven was underrated), but I’m probably a bit biased in favor of some of the players on those teams.

    Speaking of which, where’s Greg Gross?

  6. ASHMIDT

    February 13, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    the fighting irish have been very good to the phils.

  7. Herb Ober

    May 16, 2010 at 6:32 am

    No way Run Reed belongs on this list.

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