Reed was a basketball standout at Notre Dame. He was an NBA forward in 1965-67 as the sixth man for Dave DeBusschere‘s Pistons. He was also playing pro-baseball in the summers, and he finally yielded to a two-year contract from the Braves that required him to abandon basketball. In 1969 he went 18-10, helping Atlanta to its first division title, but lost to the Mets in Game Two of the LCS.
Reed was the Braves’ winning pitcher on April 8, 1974, the day Hank Aaron hit his record-breaking 715th home run. A 1975 trade sent him to St. Louis, where he went 9-8 before being dealt to the Phillies. Converted to relief by manager Danny Ozark, he teamed with Tug McGraw for eight seasons to give Philadelphia a powerful lefty-righty tandem. He recorded career bests of 17 saves and a 2.23 ERA in 1978 and saved the Phillies’ division clincher. He led the majors with 13 relief wins in 1979. He was the loser in Game Two of the 1980 LCS, but he saved Game Two of the World Series against Kansas City. When he left the majors at age 42, he stood 15th on the all-time list for games pitched (751). He recorded 103 career saves.