Bobby Reeves was born on June 24, 1904, in Hill City, Tennessee. He attended Chattanooga’s McCallie School, graduating in 1922. As a star halfback for the Blue Tornados, he earned All-city and All-Southern honors, also starring on the baseball team.
He accepted a scholarship to attend the Georgia School of Technology (Georgia Tech) in Atlanta, majoring in electrical engineering, starred as a halfback for the football team in the fall, and did the same on the baseball diamond in the spring. In three years of varsity baseball, he hit .344 over 62 games and in his senior year, serving as captain, he hit .404.
The Senators signed him off the Tech campus in 1926. Upon signing, he reported directly to Washington, who were the two-time defending league champions. He made his debut in June, getting hits in both plate appearances. His short-term role however was sitting on the bench. Despite hitting just .224 in 49 at bats that first season, his all-around play did not dim the club’s enthusiasm for his future.
In 1927, he was hitting in the .280s in late July, before a late-season slump dropped him to .255 on the season, over 112 games. The following season he started out hitting like a star, with an average of .358 in mid-June and finished the season hitting .303 in 102 games, but with an alarming 36 errors in 66 games at shortstop.
After the 1928 season, the Red Sox sent him, and three others to the Nationals for Buddy Myer. For the Red Sox, he played third base, hitting .248 over a career-high 140 games. The Red Sox of this period were one of history’s worst teams, but an unidentified clipping from that season credits Bobby for staying positive in the losing environment. But his skills were eroding, as he hit just .217 in 92 games in 1930, and .167 in 36 games in 1931.
After the 1931 season his contract was sold to the Portland Beavers of the Pacific Coast League. His once promising major league career was now over and having skipped the minor leagues on his way to the majors, he would spend the next four years there. After the 1935 season he chose to retire from the game.
He spent the rest of his days in Chattanooga, working for many years with the Electric Power Board, retiring as supervisor of the heating and air-conditioning department. He also volunteered for duty with the U.S. Army during the Second World War, serving in an anti-aircraft division.
Both Georgia Tech and the city of Chattanooga inducted Bobby into their Halls of Fame for baseball.
Bobby Reeves died in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on June 4, 1993, at age 88.