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Getting To Know the Manager and Coaches – Reggie Willits (First Base Coach)

by Paul Semendinger

March 14, 2021

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What follows are some interesting, fun, and random facts, etc. regarding Reggie Willits:


Like Matt Blake, Reggie Willits was a high school coach before coaching professionally in the Yankees’ system. He won two state championships in Oklahoma.


The will be his fourth season as the Yankees’ First Base Coach.


Reggie Willits is also an outfield instructor.


Reggie played Major League Baseball for six seasons, all with the Los Angeles Angels. In 414 games, he batted .258. In his career, he never hit a big league home run.


The last professional home run Willits hit was in 2009 while playing for Salt Lake of the Pacific Coast League. That was one of 15 homers he hit in his minor league career, but most of these, except for that one came from 2003 to 2006. After the 2006, that home for Salt Lake was the only one he’d hit as a professional.


Reggie Willits stole 40 big league bases. He was caught stealing 17 times for an overall success rate of 70.1%.


When Willits served as the Yankees’ player development system teaching base running (from 2015-17), the players’ success rate in stolen bases was…70.3% (You can’t make this kind of stuff up… )


Reggie Willits was named after Reggie Jackson.


He named his first son Jaxon


268 MLB players have come from Oklahoma. Of these, the following were Yankees at one point in their career:


Paul Blair


Ray Burris


Johnny Callison


Lou Clinton


Bobby Cox


George Frazier


Matt Holliday


Charlie Hudson


Mickey Mantle


Lindy McDaniel


Bobby Murcer


Allie Reynolds


Bob Shirley


Roy Staiger


Ralph Terry


Paul Waner

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(Cover photo from The Oklahoman)

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