Now into mid-April with no baseball seen in the near future, two former Orioles decided to hang up their cleats. Mark Reynolds and Steve Pearce were short term residents here in Baltimore, but both assisted in playoff runs that we will never forget.
After a 44 home run season in 2009, followed by a 32 home run season in 2010, Mark Reynolds was traded out of Arizona and was headed for Baltimore in December. Reynolds was a sometimes loved, sometimes hated part of an Orioles team that finally got back to the postseason in 2012. In 290 games with the Orioles, Mark Reynolds hit 60 home runs and batted in 155. Mark was never a high average hitter, ending both 2011 and 2012 with a .221 average.
As a part of the Orioles under Buck Showalter, Reynolds found his place for about a season and a half at first base, holding down a stingy defense.
Reynolds would sign a regrettable $7.5 million, one-year deal with Cleveland before the 2013 season. He will be forgotten quickly by MLB fans, but Oriole fans will take longer to let go of the joy and frustration caused by No. 12.
Steve Pearce is best remembered in Baltimore for being an extremely underrated utility man, who was clutch in the postseason. Pearce had two short stints with the Orioles in 2012 and part of 2016, but his prime time with the O’s came from 2013-2015.
In the magical 2014 season, Pearce provided some crucial depth for the Orioles, playing in 102 games. He hit 21 home runs, with a .293 average and an astounding 40 walks. That made for a .930 OPS by a guy no one outside of Baltimore was even aware of at the time.
In the 2014 postseason, Pearce was starting at first base for the suspended Chris Davis and was a fantastic replacement. In the ALDS against the Tigers, Pearce went 3-for-10, with an RBI and two runs scored. His RBI came in the 8th inning of Game 1, which started a monstrous eight-run inning to lift the O’s to a 12-3 victory.
Steve Pearce will go down in history as the MVP for the Red Sox in the tainted 2018 World Series, but his time in Baltimore will be cherished.
Let us know your thoughts on these two players retiring in the comments, and be sure to follow The Baltimore Battery on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter!