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100 Greatest Phillies

100 Greatest Phillies: 43 – Ron Reed

Ron Reed
Relief Pitcher

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.

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