An Ode to Mark Reynolds’ 13-Year Major League Baseball Career

Who played for eight different Major League Baseball teams, lettered in four different sports in high school, and has the second most home runs in the history of the University of Virginia baseball team?

If you guessed Mark Reynolds, you are correct!

Mark Reynolds, who was born in Kentucky and raised in Virginia, has had quite the career. He played for the Arizona Diamondbacks, Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians, New York Yankees, Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals, and Washington Nationals. He also has played twice for the Colorado Rockies.

Mark was a playoff hero for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2007. His home run against the Chicago Cubs helped lead the team to a three-game sweep of Chicago and lead the team to the National League Championship series. Pretty impressive during your rookie campaign, is it not?

Between the 2010 and 2011 seasons, Baltimore was in search of a power hitter and a third baseman. As a result, Mark was traded there shortly before Christmas 2010. He was the first player in the history of the then-19-year-old Camden Yards ballpark to hit a ballpark into the second deck in left field. That’s impressive, at least from my perspective.

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Mark during his tenure with the Baltimore Orioles (Credit: SB Nation)

In 2012, Mark had three multi-home run games against the New York Yankees, the second time since 1918 that a player has accomplished such a feat. He hit many home runs since then, such as a 22-home run season in Milwaukee in 2014.

Mark’s first stint as a part of the Colorado Rockies seemed to be a promising one. In addition to his 14 home runs and his 53 runs batted in, he hit the third-longest home run of 2016, one that traveled 484 feet. Considering the fact he had a 30-home run, 97-runs-batted-in season in 2017, he seemed like a fantastic All-Star Game candidate. I still remember the campaign the Colorado Rockies put on for Mark.

The Colorado Rockies posted videos of Mark’s young sons where they requested that fans of their father’s team vote him in to the game. It was adorable. My heart couldn’t take it. I would do whatever it took to get Mark into the All-Star Game. I am adamant that it was the cutest All-Star Game campaign in the history of All-Star Game campaigns.

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Mark during his tenure with the Colorado Rockies (Credit: USA Today)

Mark had quite the year in 2018 in the nation’s capital, Washington, D.C., as a member of the Washington Nationals. When he debuted on May 13, he hit a pair of home runs, sparking good luck for him. In July, he hit a pinch-hit, game-winning home run against the Miami Marlins. The next day, he went 5-for-5 (five hits in five at-bats), including a pair of home runs, a hit to second base, and 10 runs batted in. What a great way to leave your mark (no pun intended)!

Not only that, but Mark was named Player of the Week in July, too! He had 12 runs batted in and three home runs at the time he won the honor. Well deserved, in my opinion. It makes me happy that he earned this recognition.

I felt really happy when I learned of Mark Reynolds returning to the Rockies! I loved seeing him play in Denver and I was so excited to see where things were going. That July, when I learned he was released from the team, I felt gutted. It was somber to see him go. Something iconic he did was stretch out to make a game-saving catch. I saw photos of it on Twitter when the news broke he had retired.

On April 9, 2020, he announced his retirement from professional baseball. Instantly, I was in a bit of denial, that is, until the Colorado Rockies announced on their Twitter account that he did, in fact, retire. I instantly posted a reply to their Tweet: Congrats to Mark on a magical career! It won’t be the same listening to Barefoot Blue Jean Night anymore ☹. There was a Tweet or two about Mark never hitting the 300-home run career mark and what a bummer it was. I agree with the Tweets and I wish Mark got to reach that acheivement.

I also recall seeing a Tweet mentioning his strikeout rate. Mark is known for having a high strikeout rate. The Rockies made light of the situation by posting a link to the situation. I appreciate the Rockies for spreading positivity.

I will always think of Mark and his career whenever I listen to the song Barefoot Blue Jean Night by Jake Owen. I will forever think of the wonderful offensive and defensive things that he did, as well as his adorable All-Star Game campaign, whenever I see the hashtag #BeLikeMark.

Congratulations on your career, Mark. I wish you nothing but the best in this next chapter of your life.

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Mark during his tenure with the Washington Nationals (Credit: WTKR)



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