Reggie Jackson watches the flight of his third home run – on three pitches – against the Dodgers in Game 6 of the 1977 World Series. Photo: AP
As the days grow shorter, and the nights get cooler, I find myself turning to the post season and a keener interest in the MLB playoffs. Now that my beloved Tribe has been eliminated, I as many others do, think of exciting playoffs. For me, a guy who would overcome so much, and at times had a “PIA Job” of his own – Mr. October, Reggie Jackson. Although he is long retired now, I have great memories growing up of crowds chanting “Reggie, Reggie, Reggie” as he stepped to the plate. His uncanny ability to foul off pitches he didn’t like was amazing until he found one he could hit – and hit he did. Here’s some history on Reggie’s early career (thanks, Wikipedia!) – few things I found amazing.
Hall of Famer – Reggie Jackson
- played 21 seasons for five different teams (can you name them all?)
- helped his teams win 11 divisional pennants, 7 league pennants and 4 World Series titles
- remembered for hitting 3 consecutive at bat World Series home runs in ‘77
- 563 home runs, 14 times an All-Star and multiple MVP awards
- in High School, starred in football, baseball, basketball and track & field, breaking all sorts of records (.550 avg and several no-hitters)
- also tore up his knee and broke 5 cervical vertebrae and told will not play sports ever again
- a highly recruited football player, he decided on Arizona State College, as other schools did not regularly draft black athletes at the time
- walking back to the dorms, while still in his football uniform, he stopped by the baseball field and asked the coach if he could try out – on the second pitch he saw, he hit a home run – and three more after that
- first college player to hit a ball out of Phoenix Memorial Stadium
- after being signed to a major league contract ($85,000) he played single A, double A and minor leagues before debuting in the majors in 1967.
- For more information about “Mr. October”, visit his Wikipedia page and enjoy the playoffs as we get ready to another great World Series.
TRIVIA: Reggie had his number retired on two MLB teams – call me if you can name the teams and know the numbers.
BONUS: What was the food he’s famous for? (I always love these!)