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‘Lone Survivor’ pilot Steve Reich pitched for Team USA

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Steve Reich's 1993 Topps Traded baseball card.

Steve Reich gets a relatively short mention in the book written by Navy SEAL team member Marcus Luttrell that inspired Mark Wahlberg's new movie, "Lone Survivor." And Reich's character isn't the main focus of the film, which tracks the attempt to rescue Luttrell, and others, in 2005 Afghanistan.

And yet, Reich is far from forgotten by those touched by his life, as reporter Kevin Kernan touchingly writes in the New York Post. Kernan is a baseball columnist, and baseball was a big part of Reich's life in small-town Connecticut before he went to West Point and later became a part of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Airborne). Reich was a Night Stalker, and commander of the ill-fated mission to rescue Luttrell.

Reich also was a big Mets fan who named his dog Mookie, as in outfielder Mookie Wilson. And Reich was a very good left-handed pitcher.

Maj. Stephen Reich, Sue and Ray’s son, embodied everything that Army unit stands for, and he is not forgotten.

He is remembered at West Point, where he graduated 20 years ago after becoming one of the best pitchers the program ever produced. He pitched for Team USA in 1993 in the Pan Am Games and the World University Games. He was the flag-bearer for the United States delegation to those games. He went on to pitch briefly in the Orioles system, but knew he had a much different, and higher calling — a Night Stalker, a helicopter pilot. He was awarded three Bronze Stars.

The film comes out Friday. Reich's parents didn't read Luttrell's book and don't plan to see the movie. Nobody can blame them. But if you happen to be curious about the kind of life Reich lived and what he stood for, perhaps "Lone Survivor" is worth a look, and Luttrell's book is worth a glance.

A book about Reich's life of 34 years would be worthwhile, too.

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David Brown edits Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at rdbrown@yahoo-inc.com or follow him on Twitter!

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