Tuesday, July 28, 2009

1976 Topps #158 - Ken Reitz

  • Ken Reitz played for four National League teams from 1972-1982. He won one Gold Glove award (1975 3B) and was an NL All Star in 1980.
  • Reitz played for various teams in the St. Louis Cardinals' system from 1969-1972 and consistently hit .270-.290. He was called up to the Cardinals in September 1972 and batted .359 in 21 games. That would be a nice Stat-O-Matic card!
  • During his career Ken's fielding percentace at 3B usually exceeded the league average by at least 20 points. His nickname was "The Zamboni Machine" because of the way he scooped up ground balls. In 1973 he batted .235 in 147 games but earned his keep with his great defense. Reitz improved to .271 in 154 games in 1974 but led the NL in "grounded into double plays" with 25. Ken won the NL Gold Glove in 1975 and batted .269 in 161 games.
  • Before the 1976 season Ken was traded to the San Francisco Giants for Pete Falcone. He had one of his typical seasons (.267 in 155 games). After the season Reitz was traded back to the Cardinals for Lynn McGlothen. In 1977 Ken had his biggest power year with 17 home runs, 36 doubles , and a .261 average in 157 games.
  • Ken had three more similar years from 1978-1980 and started at 3B for the NL All Star team in 1980. After the 1980 season he was traded with Leon Durham and Ty Waller to the Chicago Cubs for Bruce Sutter. Ken had his worst season as a full-time player in 1981--he batted .215 in 82 games. Reitz was released by the Cubs during spring training of 1982. He was picked up by the Pittsburgh Pirates on May 16 and went hitless in ten at bats before being released on June 5.
  • Reitz signed with the Cardinals as a free agent in 1983 and played three games in AAA Louisville. He didn't play in 1984 but played in the minors (A ball) from 1985-1987. Ken even pitched a few games in each of those seasons.
  • Ken Reitz does speaking engagements now. Here is a link to his page. He also works in public relations for the St. Louis Cardinals. Ken also is a good golfer--in 2002 he carried a 2 USGA handicap.


  1. Another in a long line of 3rd basemen who seemed to be the Cubs answer.

  2. Ken Reitz started the 1980 All-Star Game. I was a Cardinal fan, but knew that Reitz was a pretty average guy that was hyped up because of his one good attribute.

    Here's how it happened. Schmidt was out for the week just before the ASG. Bill Madlock and Bob Horner were having bad years. Larry Parrish was hitting .239 and had been out a month. Reitz was hitting 4, 33 .287 on July 4. But Chuck Tanner could have considered Ron Cey (11, 34 .255), Darrell Evans (8, 34 .251 and 11/12 in SB), or Enos Cabell (1, 25 .262). But Ken Reitz was selected, and selected to start over Ray Knight (8, 49 .295). Who knows. Maybe this was his Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Reputation in the Field.

    Still, the NL won.

  3. I probably would have taken Evans. Cey also would have been a good choice. Oh well--the good guys still won.

  4. I remember Reitz starting and Cey not starting. Ordinarily that would have annoyed me, but since the Dodgers hosted the All-Star Game that year, they had 5 players selected to start the game. That eased any disappointment over Cey.