Celebrity Baseball Giant Dies By People Staff Published on January 20, 1999 12:00 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Pee Wee Reese, the Hall of Fame shortstop and Brooklyn Dodgers captain who smoothed Jackie Robinson’s entry into major league baseball as its first black player, died Saturday in Lexington, Ky. He was 81. Reese, who battled prostate cancer years ago, underwent radiation treatment for lung cancer in March 1997. He also was recovering from a broken hip. An eight-time All-Star, Reese led the Dodgers to seven National League pennants and, in 1955, helped Brooklyn win its only World Series championship. After he put down his glove, Reese worked as a broadcaster with CBS, NBC and the Cincinnati Reds and later worked for Hillerich & Bradsby (manufacturer of Louisville Slugger bats).