Johnny Reder

Johnny Reder

John Anthony Reder (born Lublin, Poland, September 24, 1909; died Fall River, Massachusetts, April 12, 1990) is a former Polish-American sportsman who during the 1930s played soccer with Fall River Marksmen and New Bedford Whalers and baseball for Boston Red Sox. As a soccer goalkeeper he won three American Soccer League titles and two National Challenge Cup winners medals. In 1935, while playing baseball for Williamsport Grays, he was voted Most Valuable Player in the New York - Penn League.

Soccer career

Early years

Although born in Lublin, Poland, Reder emigrated to the United States with his family as a youth and settled in Fall River, Massachusetts. Reder initially played as a goalkeeper for several local Fall River amateur teams, including Champion Niagara and Walsh Chevrolet, who he helped reach the quarter-finals of the 1929 National Challenge Cup where they eventually lost 5-1 to Bethlehem Steel. Despite letting in five goals, Reder was noted for his performance .

Fall River Marksmen

As a result of his exploits with Walsh Chevrolet, Reder signed for Fall River Marksmen in 1929. Together with a team that included Billy Gonsalves, Bert Patenaude, Werner Nilsen and Alex McNab, Reder helped the Marksmen win American Soccer League titles in both the Spring 1930 and Fall 1930 seasons. He also helped them win the National Challenge Cup in both 1930 and 1931 In the 1930 final, the Marksmen defeated Cleveland Bruell Insurance 9-3 on aggregate in a two-leg final and Reder kept goal in both games. On May 30 1930 he also played for the Marksmen in a 3-2 defeat against a touring Rangers .

In 1931 when Sam Mark relocated and merged the Marksmen franchise twice, Reder followed the team on both occasions. They first moved to New York, where they merged with New York Soccer Club and became the New York Yankees. However before the merger was finalised, the Marksmen had entered the National Challenge Cup. After the move, the new club was unable to re-register for the competition, so they continued to play in the Challenge Cup as the Fall River Marksmen. Reder played in all three games when they beat Chicago's Bricklayers and Masons F.C. in a final played as a three game series. At the same time they competed in the Spring 1931 season of the American Soccer League as the New York Yankees, finishing in third place . In the summer of 1931, Reder also played for a Yankees team featuring Billy Gonsalves, Bert Patenaude and George Moorhouse that twice played Celtic in friendlies. On May 30 at Fenway Park the Yankees won 4-3. However on June 28 at Yankee Stadium, Celtic won the second game 4-1 . For the Fall 1931 season the Yankees moved to New Bedford, Massachusetts where they merged with Fall River F.C. to become the New Bedford Whalers. While playing for the Whalers, Reder won a third ASL title.


Before embarking on a career as a soccer goalkeeper, Reder had originally played for his high school's baseball team as a first baseman. With the decline of the American Soccer League, he then switched back to baseball and in 1932 played 17 games for Boston Red Sox. After making his debut on April 16, he played ten games at first base, one at third, and six as a pinch-hitter. He had a record of 5 hits, 4 runs, 1 double, 3 RBI, 6 walks and 6 strikeouts and played his last game for the Red Sox on June 12. Reder subsequently played for Hazleton Mountaineers, Reading Red Sox and Williamsport Grays in the New York - Penn League and for Syracuse Chiefs of the International League before ending his baseball career at the age of 28. In 1935, while playing for the Grays he was voted Most Valuable Player in the New York - Penn League.

Later years

Reder subsequently worked as an engineer and served in the United States Navy during the Second World War, before returning to Fall River, Massachusetts where he died in 1990 from arteriosclerotic heart disease. He was buried in St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Fall River.



Fall River Marksmen

New Bedford Whalers


Williamsport Grays


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