TheBaseballPage.com

Reggie Jackson

Reggie Jackson

Position(s):
CF, LF, OF, RF, DH
Nicknames:
Mr. October
Born:
May 18, 1946
Bats:
Left
Throws:
Left
Height:
6'
Weight:
195 lbs
Major League Debut:
6-09-1967 with KC1
Allstar Selections:
1973 ML, 1973 MVP, 1973 WsMVP, 1977 BR, 1977 WsMVP, 1980 SS, 1982 SS
Hall of Fame:
1993

Above all else, including the showboating, his controversial opinions, and his bravado, Reggie Jackson was a winner. Over a 16-year stretch from 1971 to 1986, Jackson's teams advanced to the post-season 10 times, winning five World Series titles. He won the home run title for three different teams and produced some of the most dramatic homers in history. Though Jackson frequently offended teammates, opponents, and his owners, he always made sure to get along with the press. He saved his worst behavior for his managers, especially Billy Martin, with whom he had a love/hate relationship that spilled into a dugout fight on at least one occasion. A member of the 500-homer club, Jackson was elected to the Hall of Fame by himself (fittingly) in 1993.

Unform Number

#31 (1967), #9 (1968-1976), #44 (1977-1987)

Quotes From

"As long as you have a bat in your hands you can rewrite the stories. You've got the last say. ... It's about the things you can control. As long as you have a bat in your hands, it doesn't really matter." — Jackson's advice to Gary Sheffield, 2006

Replaced By

The A's signed Don Baylor to be their DH in 1988, replacing Reggie in that role.

Best Season

He was just 23, but he had an awesome season, clubbing 47 homers. At the All-Star break he was a threat to Roger Maris's single-season home run record (he hit 33 homers in his first 71 games and had eight-multi-homer games before the All-Star break), but he slowed in the second-half. He drove in 118, his career high. Jackson was still a five tool player, stealing 13 bases and using his rocket arm in right. He walked a career-best 114 times (he rarely came within 30 walks of that total).

Facts:

Reggie Jackson hit three homers on three pitches and three swings in three straight plate appearances during Game Six of the 1977 World Series.

Reggie Jackson led the American League in home runs with three different teams: the Oakland A's, New York Yankees, and California Angels.

Transition

Selected by Kansas City Athletics in the 1st round (2nd pick overall) of the free-agent draft (June 29, 1966) Traded by Oakland Athletics with Ken Holtzman and Bill VanBommell to Baltimore Orioles in exchange for Don Baylor, Mike Torrez and Paul Mitchell (April 2, 1976) Granted free agency (November 1, 1976) Signed by New York Yankees (November 29, 1976) Granted free agency (November 13, 1981) Signed by California Angels (January 22, 1982) Granted free agency (November 12, 1986) Signed by Oakland Athletics (December 24, 1986) Granted free agency (December 15, 1987). Jackson played one season for Earl Weaver in Baltimore before jumping to the Yankees as a free agent. The O's won five division titles during the decade of the 1970s, but failed when Reggie was there in 1976. Reggie missed about three weeks with injury but basically posted the sort of numbers he had in Oakland. He was Weaver's sort of player (power and patience), but Jackson never took to the "Oriole Way."

Most Walk-Off Home Runs, Career

Jimmie Foxx........12 Mickey Mantle......12 Stan Musial........12 Frank Robinson.....12 Babe Ruth..........12 Tony Perez.........11 Dick Allen.........10 Harold Baines......10 Reggie Jackson.....10 Mike Schmidt.......10

 

Quotes:

"Hitting is better than sex." - Reggie Jackson
"I didn't come to New York to be a star, I brought my star with me." - Reggie Jackson
"If I played in New York, they'd name a candy bar after me." - Reggie Jackson, 1975
"I'm the straw that stirs the drink" - Reggie Jackson
"I couldn't quit, because of all the kids, and the blacks, and the little people pulling for me. I represent both the underdog and the overdog in our society." - Reggie Jackson

Accomplishments:


    * 14-time AL All-Star (1969, 1971-1975 & 1977-1984)
    * AL MVP in 1973
    * 1973 World Series MVP
    * 1977 World Series MVP
    * 2-time AL Silver Slugger Award Winner (1980/DH & 1982/OF)
    * 3-time AL Slugging Percentage Leader (1969, 1973 & 1976)
    * 2-time AL OPS Leader (1969 & 1973)
    * 2-time AL Runs Scored Leader (1969 & 1973)
    * 4-time AL Home Run Leader (1973, 1975, 1980 & 1982)
    * AL RBI Leader (1973)
    * 20-Home Run Seasons: 16 (1968-1980, 1982, 1984 & 1985)
    * 30 Home Run Seasons: 7 (1969, 1971, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1980, 1982)
    * 40-Home Run Seasons: 2 (1969 & 1980)
    * 100 RBI Seasons: 6 (1969, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1980, 1982)
    * 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 1 (1969)
    * Won five World Series with the Oakland Athletics (1972, 1973 & 1974; he did not play in the 1972 World Series) and the New York Yankees (1977 & 1978)
    * Baseball Hall of Fame: Class of 1993

Arizona State

In football, he was scouted by Alabama, Georgia, and Oklahoma, all of whom were willing to break the color barrier just for Jackson. Jackson declined Alabama and Georgia because he was fearful of the South at the time, and declined Oklahoma because they told him to stop dating white girls. For baseball, Jackson was scouted by Hans Lobert of the San Francisco Giants who was desperate to sign him. The Los Angeles Dodgers and Minnesota Twins also made offers and the hometown Philadelphia Phillies gave him a tryout, but declined because of his "hitting skills". His father wanted his son to be the first of his family to go to college, where Jackson wanted to play both football and baseball. He decided to attend Arizona State University on a football scholarship. His high-school football coach knew the football coach for Arizona State Frank Kush, and they discussed the possibility of him playing both sports. After a recruiting trip, Kush decided that Jackson had the ability and willingness to work to join the squad.

One day after football practice, he approched baseball coach Bobby Winkles asking if he could join the team. Winkles said he would give Jackson a look, and the next day while still in his football gear, he hit a home run on the second pitch he saw. In five at bats he hit three home runs. He was allowed to practice with the team, but couldn't join the squad because the NCAA had a rule forbidding the use of freshman players. Jackson switched permanently to baseball following his freshman year, as he didn't want to become a defensive back. To hone his skills, Winkles assigned him to a Baltimore Orioles affiliated amateur team. He broke numerous team records for the squad, and the Orioles offered him a $50,000 signing bonus if he joined the team. Jackson declined the offer stating that he doesn't want to forfeit his college scholarship. In the beginning of his sophomore year Jackson replaced Rick Monday (who was the first player ever drafted in the Major League Baseball Draft) at center field. During that season he broke the team record for most home runs in a single season, led the team in numerous other categories and was first team All-American. Many scouts were looking at him play, including Tom Greenwade of the New York Yankees (who discovered Mickey Mantle), and Danny Murtaugh of the Pittsburgh Pirates. In his final game at Arizona State, he showed his potential by having a triple away from hitting for the cycle, made a sliding catch, and having an assist at home plate.

Minor League Career

In the 1966 Major League Baseball Draft, Jackson was selected by the Kansas City Athletics. He was the 2nd overall draft pick in the 1st round, behind catcher Steve Chilcott, who was selected by the New York Mets.[14] According to Jackson, Winkles told him that the Mets didn't select him because he had a white girlfriend. Winkles later denied the story, stating that he didn't know the reason why Jackson wasn't drafted by the Mets. It was later confirmed by Joe McDonald that the Mets drafted Chilcott because of need, yet again the person running the Mets at the time was George Weiss a known racist, so the true motive may never be known.

Jackson progressed through the minors quickly, reporting for his first training camp with the Single-A Lewis-Clark Broncs, Lewiston, Idaho in June, 1966, having signed for $85,000 (source: "40 Years Ago Today" in the "Lewiston Morning Tribune" June 15, 2006, and playing one season for the A's Single-A teams, the Broncs and Modesto, California and one more season for their Double-A affiliate in Birmingham, Alabama. It was in Birmingham that Jackson got his first taste of racism, being one of only a few blacks on the team. He credits the team's manager at the time, John McNamara, who had previously been the Bronc's catcher-manager, for helping him through that difficult season.

In an ironic twist, events during his minor league time would mar the end of Jackson Major League years. The May ll, 1987 cover of "Sports Illustrated" pictured Jackson for the ninth and final time (the first having been July 7, 1969). This cover's headline read, "Reggie Speaks Out on Racism and Pitches for a Front-Office Job in '88." The article, ppg. 40-49, titled "We Have a Serious Problem that Isn't Going Away" was touted as revealing the racism within baseball, which caused the lack of African-Americans in the Major League front-offices and to promote Jackson for such a position in 1988, the first season after retirement from playing. Reggie wrote: "I went to their farm club in Lewiston, Idaho. There I got hit in the head by a pitch and was taken to a local hospital. But they wouldn't admit me because I was black. Our minor league pitching coach, Bill Posedel, called Charlie Finley, and Finley got me out of there. I was in Modesto the next day."

Unfortunately, a subsequent investigation by the local daily newspaper, "The Lewiston Morning Tribune" within a week of the SI issue hitting the newsstands revealed the opposite. A check of the records of the emergency room doctor showed that he examined Reggie then ordered Jackson admitted for observation. The records of the Sisters of Carondolet, the order of Roman Catholic Nuns who owned and operated St. Joseph's Hospital in Lewiston, concurred, showing that Jackson was held overnight and released the next morning. The newspaper further reported the records showed the Broncs were billed for the ER and the stay and paid both bills promptly, strongly suggesting it was without objection. Reggie has never explained this discrepancy.

 

 

 

Links:

 

Related Content

This day in baseball history

July 29

  • 1996

    On July 29, 1996, future Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda announc ...

  • 1983

    On July 29, 1983, Steve Garvey’s National League record pl ...

  • 1973

    On July 29, 1973, Wilbur Wood earns his 20th victory, as the ...

More Baseball History

Sponsored Links

 
Tagged:
Reggie Jackson
Login or register to post comments

Stay Connected

Share |

Today's Poll

Will Red Sox Repeat in 2014:
Browse Player Profiles