Allie P. Reynolds Citizenship Award Presentation Set For Friday At First Americans Museum

In this 1979 photo Allie Reynolds presents Mary Titla of San Carlos, Ariz., Miss Indian Eastern Arizona, a certificate in recognition of her youth leadership efforts (photo courtesy of the Oklahoma Historical Society).
In this 1979 photo Allie Reynolds presents Mary Titla of San Carlos, Ariz., Miss Indian Eastern Arizona, a certificate in recognition of her youth leadership efforts (photo courtesy of the Oklahoma Historical Society).

The Rookie League Foundation of Oklahoma will announce the inaugural recipients of the Allie P. Reynolds Citizenship Award and scholarship this Friday at a ceremony at the Hall of the People at the First Americans Museum in Oklahoma City. One Oklahoma high school baseball and softball athlete will receive the award in recognition of their combined contributions as athletes, citizens and community leaders. 

In anticipation of Friday’s event, we here at the foundation would like to look back on the legacy of one of Oklahoma’s greatest baseball and civic icons. Much of this information can be found in Royse Parr’s and Bob Burke’s excellent biography: Allie Reynolds Super Chief 

Allie Pierce Reynolds was born as the oldest of three sons to David and Mary Brooks Reynolds in Bethany in 1917. The family of five moved frequently, including living in Pasadena, Calif. for three years while David Reynolds attended a Church of the Nazarene seminary. 

The Reynolds family was back in Bethany in time for Allie to begin the eighth grade. After a standout athletic career at Capitol Hill High school, he was offered a track and field scholarship at Oklahoma A&M (now Oklahoma State). Reynolds would go on to letter in three sports for the Aggies (baseball, football and track and field).  

Reynolds professional baseball career began when he was signed by the Cleveland Indians (now Guardians) prior to the 1939 season. He would spend four seasons in Cleveland’s minor league system before appearing in two games for the Indians at the end of the 1942 season.  The following year was Reynolds’ first full season at the Major League level. He won 51 games for Cleveland over the next four years before being traded to the Yankees for Joe Gordan in October 1946. 

The trade’s impact was immediate as Reynolds was arguably the Yankees’ top pitcher during a stretch in which the club won six World Series titles over a seven-year span from 1947-53.  Four of those titles were claimed over the rival Brookyln Dodgers. Reynolds finished with a 131-60 record with 40 saves and 967 strikeouts in his eight-year stint with the team. He posted a 7-2 record with four saves in 15 World Series appearances for the Yankees. 

Overall, Reynolds finished with an incredible 182-107 record and 3.30 ERA during his 13-year MLB career. He was awarded the Hickock Belt, awarded to America’s top professional athlete, after throwing two no-hitters during the 1951 season (becoming the first pitcher to throw two no hitters in the same season). Reynolds was selected to play in six All-Star games and finished in the top-three of the American League MVP voting twice. 

After retiring from baseball in 1954, Reynolds was a business and civic leader in Oklahoma City for decades. He was once president of the Triple AAA American Association, president of the Oklahoma City 89ers and founder and president of Reynolds Oil Company and Atlas Mud Company. 

Reynolds was proud of his Muscogee (Creek) heritage and was involved in many causes promoting Native American culture, including the founding of the Red Earth Festival in 1987. He was active in countless other civic and charitable causes, including youth sports related projects. In 1960, Reynolds led a fundraising effort for the construction of a YMCA in Bethany. 

Reynolds received several honors in his life, including induction into the American Indian Athletic Hall of Fame and Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame. A plaque honoring Reynolds’ amazing career hangs along with those of other greats at Monument Park at Yankee Stadium and Allie P. Reynolds Stadium was the home of Oklahoma State baseball from 1981-2020. 

Muscogee (Creek) Nation Secretary Zechariah Harjo says the Nation is pleased that an award has been established to honor one of its most famous and respected Tribal citizens. 

“The Muscogee Nation is honored to be a part of the ongoing legacy of Allie P. Reynolds who represented the Nation and all Tribal citizens well, as a professional baseball player with the New York Yankees and so much more,” Harjo said. 

“We are excited to honor his family, historical contributions, and achievements, and to continue his impact through the creation of this annual scholarship to be awarded to standout high school softball and baseball players. The Muscogee Nation looks forward to supporting the Rookie League Foundation and all future recipients of the Allie P. Citizenship Award,” added Harjo. 

Oklahoma State baseball coach Josh Holliday says that Reynolds’ contributions to OSU and the State of Oklahoma are significant and worth remembering. 

“All the magic that happened at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium over a nearly 40-year span made it a special place to me personally and a special place for all Oklahoma State baseball fans,” Holliday said. 

”Allie Reynolds was one of the greatest baseball alumni in school history and probably the most accomplished player when it comes to postseason success. He was an amazing figure for our State and checked all the boxes when it comes to being an Oklahoman and an Oklahoma State Cowboy. His amazing legacy lives on until this day and will never be forgotten.”