Sportress of Blogitude

Former MLB pitcher Anthony Reyes battling California wildfires

Former major league pitcher Anthony Reyes, now a firefighter, is among the many brave souls on the front lines battling the horrendous wildfires presently plaguing southern California.

After spending parts of five seasons playing for the St. Louis Cardinals — where he helped deliver a World Series victory over the Detroit Tigers in 2006 — and Cleveland Indians, Reyes, a California native, followed in his father’s footsteps and became a firefighter.

Reyes’ heroic career choice now has him on the front lines waging battle against the wildfires that have produced shocking images where southern California appears like Hell on Earth.

Cardinals Magazine previously noted that Reyes is “a trained firefighter in Southern California. His dad was an LA firefighter and Anthony grew up wanting to be a fireman, too, only baseball got in his way for a while,” per a St. Louis FOX2 report.

Additional details on the brutal conditions Reyes and his fellow firefighters are battling:

Dry weather and merciless winds, with gusts predicted to reach the strength of a Category 1 hurricane in mountainous areas, threaten to intensify the already devastating Southern California wildfires that have driven 110,000 people from their homes.

Thousands of firefighters — 2,500 on the massive Thomas Fire alone — have been working nonstop to battle the blazes racing across hillsides and through neighborhoods, officials said. Almost 9,000 homes are without power. Officials have shut down hundreds of schools spanning at least 15 districts.

Despite a brief respite in the winds Wednesday, they began picking up again in the evening. A gust of 85 mph was detected in Ventura County. Forecasters say Thursday will bring gusts of 80 mph in the higher altitudes, while winds of 50 to 70 mph will make firefighters’ mission extremely difficult in Ventura and Los Angeles counties.

It goes without saying residents of southern California are extremely lucky to have the likes of Reyes doing all they can to control the devastating conditions. Let’s hope Reyes and his comrades do so as safely as possible.