Jody Reed was a career middle infielder who played for 10 seasons in the majors. Reed was born on July 26th, 1962 in Tampa Florida. He played his high school ball at Brandon High School in Brandon, FL, before going on to play at Manatee Community College and then Florida State. Reed was drafted three times before he actually signed with a team. He was drafted by Texas in the 1982 preliminary draft, then again in the secondary draft by the Giants, and finally by Texas again in 1983. It wasn’t until 1984 that the Red Sox picked him in the 8th round. He played his first game on September, 12th 1987 and started his first game at shortstop six days later on the 18th.
Reed became a starter for the Sox in 1988. In that season he collected his first home run against Cleveland Indians pitcher and future Red Sox manager John Farrell. He also placed third in Rookie of the Year voting. He led the league in doubles in 1990 and was one of five Red Sox players to receive MVP votes (Roger Clemens placed third, while Ellis Burks, Wade Boggs, and Tony Pena also all received votes).
Reed played with the Red Sox through 1992, and probably would’ve continued to play there if it weren’t for the 1992 Expansion Draft, in which the Colorado Rockies drafted him 13th overall. He was almost immediately traded to the Dodgers, where he played in 1993.
Reed’s offseason decision following that year is what many know him best for. The Dodgers offered Reed a 3-year $7.8-million extension but he turned it down to enter into free agency. Reed ended up losing an exorbitant amount of money, as he ended up settling for a 1-year $350,000 contract with the Brewers. Reed would go on to play 2 more years in San Diego and 1 year in Detriot before ending his career following the end of the 1997 season.
Reed finished his career with a .270 average. He only hit 27 HRs over his 10-year career, but he did manage to hit 263 doubles. After his retirement, Reed eventually found his way into coaching in the minor leagues. He spent 2007-2012 working in the Arizona League, earning Manager of the Year award in 2011. Reed’s last job in the league was as manager of the Chattanooga Lookouts in 2013, before he was eventually replaced by former Red Sox first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz in 2015. Reed now spends his time in Arizona and Florida with his wife Michelle and four daughters.