September 10, 2010

Carl Nettles Reynolds

   Carl Reynolds was born into a farming family in LaRue, Texas, on February 1, 1903, the third child born to Robert and Ann (Nettles) Reynolds. He attended the local schools there, batting a reported .500 in high school. He went on to Lon Morris College, named the outstanding student there, and continued his education, earning a B.A. from Southwestern University at Georgetown, Texas. He was captain of the football team, was All-Conference, MVP on the basketball team, and excelled at track and baseball. On the diamond, Reynolds played shortstop, with occasional work at third base and on the pitching mound. He was discovered by accident by White Sox scouts in June 1926 and signed up with the team for the 1927 season.

   Reynolds worked out for about a week with the White Sox and was assigned to play for the Palestine Pals, in the Lone Star League. Palestine finished first in league standings, and Reynolds - who mostly played outfield for them - led the league in base hits (180 in the 124 games he played), and in batting average, with .376. He also stole a league-leading 32 bases. The White Sox finished in fifth place that year, 12 games behind fourth-place Detroit. They decided to give Reynolds a look in the majors and called him up in September. His major-league debut came on September 1, where he was hit by a pitch. He appeared in 14 games, playing left field exclusively, with a .214 average and seven runs batted in. It was 10 years before he returned to the minors.

   Beginning in 1931, he was traded to a new team every year - the Washington Senators (1931), the St Louis Browns (1933), the Boston Red Sox (1934-1935), back to the Washington Senators (1936) and finally, the Chicago Cubs (1937-1939), with whom he stayed the rest of his career. After a brief turn as a scout/coach for the Pacific Coast League California Angels in 1941, he retired from the game for good.

   After baseball, Reynolds retired to Wharton, Texas, where he had purchased a farm back in 1934. In 1971 Reynolds was enshrined in the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in its first year of existence. In 1990 he was inducted into the Southwestern University Hall of Honor. Carl Reynolds suffered from myelofibrosis and myeloid metaplasia for the last three years of his life, and acute blastic crisis the last six weeks. He died on May 29, 1978, at Methodist Hospital in Houston, and was buried at Wharton City Cemetery.

29° 18.601, -096° 05.490

Wharton City Cemetery

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