Baseball Digest

Q&A WITH Harold Reynolds

Baseball Digest: You played in the major leagues for 12 seasons (1983-94) and made two All-Star teams (1987-88). But your career seemed to come to an abrupt end—on August 7, 1994—when the players’ strike ended the season.

Harold Reynolds: Well, I didn’t expect it to be my last game, I know that. So much happened in 1994. There was the O.J. (Simpson) chase. But the thing that stands out is that I’d been through three strikes and lockouts, and when interim (at the time) Commissioner (Bud) Selig said the season’s over, that was just a shock. And that stands out above everything that happened in ’94. You just didn’t expect him to say there’d be no playoffs. That was always a goal in labor disputes to get back and be able to play in the playoffs and World Series.

BD: And you never played in the majors again.

HR: At the time, I didn’t know that, but what really happened was that the next year we were still on strike through the winter and they basically took that middle guy—I wasn’t the star player and I wasn’t at the bottom of the food chain, but I was close—and they just wiped out the middle class. They brought up young guys and kept the bigger guys with names and contracts. And that was it. It’s still kind of a shock to this day.

BD: That must have been a difficult way to end a playing career.

HR: It was devastating. We were platooning, me and Rex Hudler. Then they started playing a bunch of young guys and I felt like if I just get through the year, I’ll get to spring training next year and I’ll win a job and I’ll be playing every day and things will take off. I had never been injured, so I didn’t view myself as an older player even though I was 33 at the time. I’m going to play’til I’m 40, I thought. I never thought about not playing another game.

When did the idea of becoming a broadcaster

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