Born in London, Reach first attracted attention on Brooklyn baseball diamonds in the 1850s. In 1865, he was brought to Philadelphia for $25 a week “expenses,” making him one of the earliest professionals. A second baseman, although by most accounts a lefthanded thrower, he was considered an excellent batter. In 1871, when Philadelphia won the first National Association championship, he hit .348. After retiring as a player, he was one of the founders of the Phillies and served as team president from 1883 to 1902. He later was part owner of the Athletics. A sporting-goods company he founded in the 1870s prospered and eventually made him millions. In 1889 he sold out to A.G. Spalding, although he continued in an executive position. An annual baseball guide that he began in the 1880s was instrumental in developing interest in baseball statistics.