USA Baseball retires Reich's number

Updated: July 24, 2006, 9:14 AM ET
Associated Press

DURHAM, N.C. -- USA Baseball retired the number of former pitcher Steve Reich, who was killed in Afghanistan last year.

The No. 20 worn by Reich, who attended the U.S. Military Academy and played for Team USA in 1993, was retired during a ceremony before the Americans played South Korea on Sunday.

Team USA pitcher Nick Hill, a rising senior at Army, removed his No. 20 shirt and gave it to Reich's parents. Hill will now wear No. 26.

Reich, who also pitched at Army, was 2-1 with a 2.48 ERA in 17 appearances for Team USA and carried the American flag at the World University Games.

He later pitched in two games in the Baltimore Orioles' organization before being recalled to active duty.

Reich and 15 other soldiers were killed in June 2005 when their MH-47 Chinook helicopter was shot down during a rescue mission. He was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and a third Bronze Star.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press