It was an early spring day in 1975, the temperature was in the 30s and flurries were falling in Hanover, N.H. Dartmouth freshman Jim Reynolds, pitching the season opener against Brown, felt a sharp pain in his right shoulder. Reynolds went all the way, winning 9-0, but while he exchanged handshakes after the game, he realized he couldn't raise his right hand without pain.
Reynolds then started to reexamine the importance to him of playing baseball. "I had thrown about 140 pitches in a nine-inning game, and my shoulder wasn't back to normal for a couple of days," he recalls. "It had never taken me that long to recover.... I sensed baseball wasn't going to be the sum of my existence."
Reynolds pitched a while longer at Dartmouth and later with a semipro team, but he has indeed moved on to other things. Now 29, Reynolds is an SI reporter, but also finds time to be a hard-hitting outfielder for the combined United Press International-SI Softball team, which is the defending champion of the New York Press League. "They talk about the pressure being rough in the major leagues, but those guys have never played press league softball," he jokes.
The pressure's on at the office, too. As a baseball researcher, Reynolds has been entrusted with the accuracy of recent stories on, among others, Dwight Gooden, Kurt Bevacqua and Dale Murphy, as well as INSIDE PITCH (page 54). And Reynolds says, "Although I can identify with the guy on the mound, life is more enjoyable in the press box."
Reynolds grew up in the shadow of Fenway Park; he could hear the crowd from his doorstep. As a 9-year-old he helped a neighbor move in and was startled to see him pitch the next weekend for the Red Sox. It was Jim Lonborg, who would win the 1967 Cy Young Award. Reynolds was no slouch as an athlete himself, lettering in football, basketball and baseball at Belmont Hill School. He left Dartmouth after one year, and in 1975 gave baseball a final try, pitching for the semipro Lechmere Orioles in the Boston Park League. After reinjuring his shoulder, Reynolds retired.
In 1976 he moved to New York and began his "starving writer" period, during which he turned out theater sketches and cabaret routines. He married Mary Fulham, who performs with a successful nightclub act in Manhattan, the High Heeled Women. They have one child, 1-year-old Matthew. To make ends meet while he went back to school (he graduated from Columbia in 1984), Reynolds took a job in the copy department of TIME magazine, where he worked until last January when we picked up his option, so to speak. We're happy that he's one pitcher who came in out of the cold.
REYNOLDS NOW IS STICKING TO OFFICE SOFTBALL