Shane Reynolds

Reynolds had to know that a good season was in the offing when on April 28, 1999 he carried a no-hitter into the seventh, while also having a three-RBI night at the plate. Always a control pitcher, he was spotting his splitter especially well that night until his Sugar Land, Texas neighbor Luis Gonzalez singled for the Arizona Diamondbacks to break up Reynolds’ gem. Undeterred, Reynolds went on to a career best 19-9 record that year, placing himself on the brink of elite status.

When Enron Field opened in 2000, Reynolds, along with the rest of the Astros’ staff, struggled to learn how to pitch in a hitters’ park. Reynolds, whose greatest asset has always been craftiness and deception as opposed to raw power, was among the first to learn new coping skills. “You have to change your thinking,” he told the Houston Chronicle. “You have to go into games not necessarily thinking that you’re going to give up four or five runs but knowing that you could. And if you do, then you have to put that aside and still try to win.”

Despite a sub-par year in 2001, Reynolds’ leadership was critical to a staff that included rookies Roy Oswalt and Tim Redding and second-year man Wade Miller.