Reggie Jackson aka “Mr. October” 67 Today

 

Can Reggie Jackson really be 67 today? Reggie Jackson was one of the most exciting players I’ve ever seen.[Roberto Clemente is the most exciting player I’ve ever seen but Reggie has to be right up there on the list] Reggie Jackson had a flair for the dramatic. He lived for the big moments, for playoffs, world series, all-star games. When the spotlight was on Reggie he usually shined. When Reggie came up to bat you stayed in your seat to watch. Reggie always will always be remembered most for his time with the Oakland A’s and the New York Yankees. He played 21 seasons in the major leagues. Reggie was a 14 time all-star, he hit 563 home runs, 1702 rbi’s with a career average of .262. He was the MVP of two World Series. He is in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Three “Reggie” moments stick out in my mind. The first-the All-Star Game home run in 1971 at Tiger Stadium off of Dock Ellis. If the ball didn’t hit a beam it might still be out in orbit. Second- Reggie striking out could be as exciting as Reggie hitting a home run. When Bob Welch struck him out in the World Series-Reggie went down in dramatic fashion. Third of course is the three home runs in the final game of the 1977 World Series vs the Dodgers. The remarkable thing- he hit his 3 home runs off of 3 different pitchers-and they were all first pitch home runs. I can still see that last one which was a mammoth blow. Reggie rose to the occasion.   Oh I forgot a big 4th thing- [with Reggie I guess there are a lot of great memories] Reggie and Billy Martin in the dugout at Fenway Park. Billy and Reggie hated each other. Reggie dogged it in the outfield and Billy replaced him in the middle of the inning. The ultimate insult. [Reggie as great as he was-could have been greater I believe. He had a great arm but sometimes was more interested in showing off the arm..and in the field at times he seemed indifferent.] Billy and Reggie got into it in the dugout on a Saturday nationally televised game. That was awesome! {Talk about undisiplined- Billy Martin was the greatest manager in baseball history between the lines but he couldn’t manage his life worth a damn could he-and that led to his demises]

Reggie always said if he played in NYC that they would name a candy bar after him. They did. The candy bar was awful. I remember buying one-once..once was enough. I wonder how much you could get on e-bay now for a “Reggie” bar?

From most accounts Reggie was/is a complicated man. I once spent a day at the ballpark with a New York City sportswriter and I peppered him the entire game about his experiences with the men who played the  game. He didn’t have good things to say about “The Reg” He said if you were a big network guy or from a big paper Reggie treated you well, if he thought you could do no good for him or was from a smaller paper he would go out of his way to be a jerk to you. I wasn’t shocked by this. Reggie was a prima donna, no question. Reggie was never boring though. Reggie is one of the rare players you would make a special effort to go see play if he was in town. Reggie wasn’t lying-he was the straw that stirred the drink. I always hated and will always hate the Yankees but I miss Reggie and those late 70’s Yankee teams. They were fun.

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5 responses to “Reggie Jackson aka “Mr. October” 67 Today

  1. In my 50+ years as a Yankee fan, with all the hall-of-famers, and championships and all-stars, there have been jsut two players that always created electricity at the Stadium by merely stepping onto the field. Reggie Jackson and Mickey Mantle.

    • I have been a Yankee hater for years–but I agree with you.. The Mick had it.. Reggie had it. Those were guys when they walked on the field-your eyes were glued to their movements. Clemente was that way..not many players have that quality. Even some of the great ones didn’t have that..

    • Excellent point.. some have it..some don’t.. Reggie lived for those moments..others sharnk from them [hello Barry Bonds aka The Juicer}

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