Ron Reed, a native of LaPorte, graduated from Notre Dame in the mid 1960s as a basketball star, ranking 30th in the school’s history in scoring with 1,153 points and third all-time in rebounding average with 14.3 rebounds per game as well as Notre Dame’s single-season record for rebounding average with 17.7 rebounds per game.
He was drafted by the Detroit Pistons in the fourth round of the 1965 NBA draft.
He told a 2010 audience at a Notre Dame sports dinner, “I only played one year of (college) baseball; that was my senior year. When I got out after my senior year, it was the first year of the college draft for baseball. And I wasn’t drafted by anybody.”
But he signed that contract in June, and fall camp didn’t begin until October, so when asked what he would do all summer, Reed said he would like to play baseball.
So his new boss in Detroit arranged for him to play minor league baseball in Florida and was so impressive as a pitcher he was invited to the Atlanta Braves’ spring camp in 1966 fresh off his first NBA season. After a second year with Detroit as a forward, Reed decided a career in baseball would give him a longer sports career.
Reed played 19 major league seasons, winning 146 games and registering a 3.46 career earned run average and pitched in the 1980 World Series with the Philadelphia Phillies and again in 1983.
He pitched for the White Sox in 1984, his final year.