Walter Kevin McReynolds (born October 16, 1959) is a former Major League Baseball outfielder with a 12-year career from 1983 to 1994. A two-time All-American from the University of Arkansas, he played professionally for the San Diego Padres and New York Mets of the National League and the Kansas City Royals of the American League.
Kevin McReynolds at a card show at Hofstra University in spring 2013.
|Left fielder / Center fielder|
|Born: October 16, 1959|
Little Rock, Arkansas
|June 2, 1983, for the San Diego Padres|
|Last MLB appearance|
|August 11, 1994, for the New York Mets|
|Runs batted in||807|
McReynolds was born in Little Rock, Arkansas.
He attended Sylvan Hills High School in Sherwood, Arkansas, where he played baseball. McReynolds was said to be one of the best high school players in Arkansas. McReynolds proved that by hitting .638, 15 home runs, and had 60 RBIs during the first 25 games of his senior year. He led his Bears team to the Arkansas Class AAA State Baseball Championship and was tournament MVP in 1978. McReynolds was named the 1978 Arkansas High School Baseball Player of the Year.
In 2011, McReynolds became the school's first inductee to the National High School Hall of Fame.
McReynolds was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers after his senior year of high school, but chose to attend the University of Arkansas where he played outfielder for the Razorbacks under scholarship. At Arkansas, McReynolds proved that the Razorbacks made a good move in giving him that scholarship. In his freshman year, McReynolds hit for a .282 batting average with eight home runs and 37 RBIs. That year Arkansas came in second in the College World Series in which McReynolds hit for a .566 batting average, with two home runs, two doubles and five RBIs. McReynolds got better as his college career progressed. In his junior year, McReynolds hit for a .386 batting average with 17 home runs and 57 RBIs as the Razorbacks finished second in the league and received a berth in the NCAA tournament.
Professional playing careerEdit
San Diego Padres (1981–86)Edit
The San Diego Padres selected McReynolds with the sixth pick in the first round of the 1981 Major League Baseball draft. He played in the minor leagues from 1981 to 1983. McReynolds played for the Class A-Advanced Reno Padres in Nevada, the Double-A Amarillo Gold Sox in Texas, and then the Triple-A Las Vegas Stars. In 1983, during his time in Las Vegas, McReynolds won the Pacific Coast League MVP.
Major League DebutEdit
McReynolds made his major league debut for the Padres on June 2, 1983, against the Philadelphia Phillies; he hit a home run in his fourth at-bat. McReynolds finished the season with a .221 batting average, 4 home runs, and 14 RBIs.
In 1984, the Padres reached the World Series for the first time in franchise history. McReynolds along with rookie outfielder Carmelo Martínez was hyped as the M&M Boys after the New York Yankees 1960s power-hitting duo of Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris. McReynolds shared the team lead for home runs with 20 and Martinez was fourth on the team with 66 RBIs. During the 1984 National League Championship Series (NLCS) McReynolds had a .300 batting average, hit 1 home run and 4 RBIs. However, he broke his wrist trying to break up a double play in Game 4, and was out for the season. The Padres won Game 5 and advanced to the World Series, losing 4–1 to the Detroit Tigers.
New York Mets (1987–91)Edit
On December 11, 1986, McReynolds along with two other players was traded to the New York Mets. There, McReynolds continued to flourish. His best season came in 1988, as McReynolds tied his career high batting average at .288 and set career highs in RBIs with 99 and stolen bases with 21, which set a Major League Baseball record for stolen bases without being caught stealing; the record was broken by Chase Utley in 2009. That year, McReynolds came in third in the MVP voting behind Kirk Gibson and Darryl Strawberry.
In 1988, the Mets made it to the NLCS against the Los Angeles Dodgers. McReynolds played fairly well in the series batting .250 with 2 home runs and 4 RBIs. In game 1 of the championship series, McReynolds was famous for his collision with Dodgers catcher Mike Scioscia. This brought attention to McReynolds, who was known for not wanting attention. McReynolds stayed out of the headlines for the rest of the series as the Mets lost the series, four games to three.
Kansas City Royals (1992–93)Edit
On December 6, 1991, the Mets traded McReynolds, along with Gregg Jefferies and Keith Miller, to the Kansas City Royals for Bret Saberhagen. During his two years with the Royals, McReynolds hit a combined batting average of .246, hit 24 home runs and 91 RBIs.
Back to the Mets (1994)Edit
On January 5, 1994, McReynolds was traded back to the Mets for Vince Coleman, after Coleman started a controversy in New York. McReynolds played his last year of baseball for the Mets, hitting .256 with 4 home runs and 21 RBIs. On October 25, 1994, McReynolds was granted free agency and ended his 12-year baseball career.
McReynolds and his wife Jackie McReynolds married in 1987, and had two daughters together. McReynolds is an avid duck-hunter and fisherman. After retiring, McReynolds built the Kevin McReynolds Sports Complex near Sylvan Hills High School. McReynolds also runs a commercial duck-hunting club in southeast Arkansas.
- Inductee, SEC Baseball Legends (2012, inaugural class)
- Inductee, National High School Hall of Fame (2011)
- Inductee, Arkansas Sports Hall of Fame (1996)
- National League Player of the Month (September 1988)
- Major League Baseball record for most steals in a season (21) without being caught (1988, since surpassed)
- Pacific Coast League Most Valuable Player Award (1983)
- Bill Dickey Award (1980)
- National Baseball Congress World Series MVP Alaska Goldpanners of Fairbanks (1980)
- NCAA College World Series All-Tournament Team (1979)
- Arkansas High School Baseball Player of the Year (1978)
- Arkansas Class AAA State Baseball Championship / Tournament MVP (1978)
- Klein, John (February 1981). "McReynolds success restores credibility to Arkansas prep programs". Baseball America.
- "Kevin McReynolds Baseball Statistics". The Baseball Cube.
- "San Diego Padres 4, Philadelphia Phillies 1". Retrosheet. June 2, 1983.
- Collier, Phil (April 3, 1984). "Power promised from the new M&M twins". The San Diego Union. p. D-1.
- Bloom, Barry (April 5, 1984). "Padres are hoping M & Ms won't melt in their hands". Evening Tribune. p. D-3.
- "Kevin McReynolds Postseason Batting Game Log". Baseball-Reference.com.
- Bloom, Barry (October 23, 1984). "Here's a chronological look at Padre highlights of 1984". Evening Tribune. p. D-3.
- "Kevin McReynolds". Ultimate Mets Database.
- "Stolen Bases Records". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
- Murray, Jim (October 6, 1988). "Kevin McReynolds, the Silent Met, Just May Be Best Met of Them All". Los Angeles Times.
- Career statistics and player information from MLB, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or The Baseball Cube, or Baseball-Reference (Minors), or Retrosheet
|Awards and achievements|
| National League Player of the Month
| Hitting for the cycle
August 1, 1989