When it comes to baseball, former major league pitcher Edwin Jackson loves the game too much to walk away from it.
The 37-year-old has not played in the league since 2019 but he still has something left in the tank.
Now, Jackson is playing for something much bigger as he is a member of the USA baseball team competing in the Tokyo Olympics.
Edwin Jackson is famous for playing for 14 major league teams. It turns out his nomadic existence goes way beyond that. @GaryHPhillips talked to Edwin (and a host of other people) about his latest adventure: Playing for the United States in Tokyo. https://t.co/gL2O6gQMYp
Jackson already has a World Series title, but he’ll have a shot to win an Olympic Gold Medal, something he’s never done before.
The USA team is filled with former MLB veterans and players who are in different minor league organizations.
Jackson is considered to be one of the leaders on this team and he’ll look to play a significant role.
When it comes to experience playing baseball, Jackson has a lot of it.
He played for an MLB record 14 teams between 2003 to 2019. And this MLBbro remembers every single team he played for.
The former 2009 All-Star went on to list the revolving door of teams he played for.
“I can, but it won’t be quick,” he told the New York Times as he was getting ready to list the teams. “L.A., Detroit — I mean Tampa Bay!”
Jackson went on to finish listing the teams. “Tampa Bay to Detroit. Detroit to Arizona. Arizona to the White Sox. White Sox to St. Louis. St. Louis to D.C. D.C. to Chicago. Chicago to the Braves.
The Braves to the Marlins. The Marlins to San Diego. San Diego to Baltimore, I believe. Baltimore back to the Nationals. The Nationals to Oakland. Oakland to Toronto. Toronto to Detroit.”
Jackson is a nomad in the MLB because he’s constantly been on the move throughout his career.
Now in 2021, he has a chance to represent the United States in the Olympics and bring stability to a squad with high expectations.
He also wants to make a cultural impact on the game.
“Not only do I want to represent the country, I want to represent my fellow African Americans that play this game of baseball,” Jackson told the New York Times. “I want to be able to go influence a young African American player that’s never played baseball before. They look at me and be like, ‘Damn, maybe I could be like him.’”
This is a once and a lifetime opportunity that Jackson is experiencing and the fact that he has the chance to add Olympian to his resume is not something many MLB players get a chance to do.
While he’s been out of the league for a few years, when he steps on that mound, he can still bring it.
“He looks electric,” Todd Frazier said, who’s another veteran on the USA team.
And Frazier isn’t the only person who has noticed that Jackson can still dominate out there.
“Don’t worry about what his age says. His body’s like a 26-year-old,” USA manager Mike Scioscia said.
Jackson will be one player you will want to keep your eye on during the Olympics as the USA team will play its first game on Friday, July 31st.
When he takes the mound, make sure you are tuned in, because you don’t want to miss it.
If you consider yourself a baseball fan, then you should already be counting down the days until the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
If you don’t have the dates saved yet, hurry up and mark your calendars and be prepared to call out of work.
This year’s games are going to be something special.
For the first time since 2008, baseball will be played at the Summer Olympics.
Fortunately for MLBbro Nation, this could mean something huge.
We might only be a few weeks away from watching both Matt Kemp and Edwin Jackson compete on an international level. Get ready.
Both Jackson and Kemp are a part of the 26-man roster that recently secured a berth in the upcoming Tokyo Olympics after defeating Venezuela 4-2 with Jackson on the mound.
Despite the win, and two hitless innings from Jackson, whether or not we see the duo in this year’s Olympic games has yet to be official.
Out of the 26-man roster, only 24 players make the final team. Jackson and Kemp both survived the cut when the qualifying roster went from 28 players to 26.
If you’re wondering why MLBbros like Mookie Betts and Aaron Judge are nowhere to be found on the Olympic roster, it’s because there is a major hurdle MLB players face when making an Olympic team.
That hurdle is the actual MLB season, which will be in full force come the Tokyo games. Plus, Major League Baseball does not allow its active big league players to participate.
This all leaves the United States with limited options when compiling a list of baseball players to send abroad during the month of July.
The solution? A team composed of the best minor league players and the best free agent players that the U.S. has to offer. Matt Kemp and Edwin Jackson should be easy additions to the final roster.
During his 14-year major league career, Kemp became a three-time All-Star, two-time Gold Glove, and a two-time Silver Slugger award winner.
In October 2020, he elected free agency after a short stint with the Colorado Rockies. Kemp is the most decorated player on the current Olympic roster, and his veteran leadership will be needed if the United States wants to win big in Tokyo.
A former All-Star and World Series champion, Jackson is one of nine African American pitchers to ever have a no-hitter in a Major League Baseball game. Like Kemp, Jackson is a veteran, and his leadership and experience on the mound will be key for the United States.
In a conversation with MLBbro.com’s very own Telly Hughes, Jackson admitted that representing the United States is unique in comparison to the teams he’s played for in the past.
“I’ve put on a lot of different jerseys, but this one here is a little different,” said Jackson.
Team USA is set to announce its finalized roster on or after July 1, 2021.
Telly Hughes interviews Team USA pitcher Edwin Jackson, who’s also the last MLbbro to throw a no-hitter.
Team USA advanced to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games on Saturday following a 4-2 win over Venezuela in the WBSC Olympic Qualifier. Jackson, a crafty veteran, will play a huge role in the USA’s quest for a gold medal.
Olympic baseball is back for the first time since 2008, and a few notable MLBbros are onboard.
USA Baseball released its 28-man training camp roster on Sunday, and five Black players are in the lineup. Among those players are major league veterans Matt Kemp, Edwin Jackson, and Anthony Gose, and minor leaguers Clayton Andrews and Simeon Woods Richardson. The final roster will be cut to 26 on Sunday, May 30.
“I’ve put on a lot of different jerseys, but this one will be special in a different way,” said Jackson to MLBbro.com on Monday. “I’m not only playing to represent myself and my family but our country.”
Kemp began his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers from 2006-2014, where he earned two all-star appearances, two Golden Gloves, and two Silver Slugger awards. After brief stints with the San Diego Padres and Atlanta Braves, the 36-year-old outfielder returned to the Dodgers in 2018 where he earned his third all-star appearance in an incredible comeback story.
He played for the Cincinnati Reds in 2019, and the Colorado Rockies in 2020 where he batted .239 with six home runs in 43 games. He is currently unsigned but could earn MLB teams’ interest with a strong showing in the Olympics.
Jackson made history in 2019 by pitching for his 14th different major league team, the most by any player in history. The 37-year-old played 17 years in the majors, earning an all-star appearance in 2009 with the Detroit Tigers, where he struck out 161 with 70 walks and posted an ERA+ of 125.
Gose played centerfield for the Toronto Blue Jays from 2012-2014 and for the Detroit Tigers from 2016-2016, batting .240/.309/.348 over his five-year major league career. Since leaving the Tigers, the 30-year-old has converted to pitcher and played in the minors within the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers organizations before joining the Cleveland Indians AA affiliate team in 2021.
Andrews was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in 2018 and currently plays for their AA affiliate team. Through seven games, the 24-year-old lefthander is 1-1 with a 4.82 ERA. His ability to make batters swing and miss is evident as he struck out 11 with 7 walks in 9 innings. His WHIP sits at 1.29.
Woods Richardson was drafted by the New York Mets in 2018, and the 20-year-old right-hander is 1-0 through four games with the Toronto Blue Jays AA affiliate team. He currently has a 2.37 ERA with 31 strikeouts and eight walks in 19 innings. His WHIP sits at 1.16.
No players currently on MLB rosters are participating in the qualifiers as the Olympics will be held during the season. The team will be managed by Mike Scioscia.
The Road to Tokyo for the U.S. starts with the Americas Olympic Qualifier against Nicaragua on May 31 at 5 p.m. ET from Clover Park in St. Lucie, Florida. The qualifying tournament also features the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Canada, Venezuela and Colombia, and the winner will clinch the fifth spot in the Olympics.
The second-and third-place teams from the tournament will then compete with the Netherlands, Australia and Taiwan, and for the sixth and final spot.
Baseball is returning to the Olympics this year for the first time since the 2008 Games in Beijing, where USA Baseball took home the bronze medal. The U.S. won its only gold medal in baseball in the 2000 Sydney Olympics and looks to return to the mountaintop once again this summer.
Major League Baseball announced today that the 2021 All-Star Game will not be played in Atlanta, Georgia. The decision to change the location comes one week after new legislation was passed in Georgia placing heavy restrictions on voters (Election Integrity Act 2021). The annual Midsummer Classic was originally scheduled to be played in Atlanta’s Truist Park, July 13.
In a statement, MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred said, “Over the last week, we have engaged in thoughtful conversations with Clubs, former and current players, the Players Association, and The Players Alliance, among others, to listen to their views. I have decided that the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport is by relocating this year’s All-Star Game and MLB Draft.”
Manfred also stated MLB “fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box.”
After Manfred reached out and spoke to three influential figures within MLB’s Players Alliance — MLB pitcher Edwin Jackson, Dee Strange Gordon and Cameron Maybin (the Black players who got the ball rolling) — he was convinced to join them in their fight to have the game moved out of Georgia.
The Players Alliance, whose mission includes creating an inclusive culture within baseball and providing opportunities for the Black community, were elated with the relocation decision and issued in part this statement:
“We want to make our voice heard loud and clear in our opposition of the recent Georgia legislation that not only disproportionately disenfranchises the Black community, but also paves the way for other states to pass similarly harmful laws based largely on widespread falsehoods and disinformation.”
White superstars such as Clayton Kershaw, Evan Longoria and Cody Bellinger are also a part of this special group of groundbreaking MLB players.
I want to applaud and extend a thank you to @MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred for moving the All Star Game out of Georgia following the Governor’s signing of the new restrictive voting law. Way to be a leader and take a strong stance!
“A lot of our ballplayers are from Atlanta, not just the Black players,” said Players Alliance President Curtis Granderson on MLB Network. “We’re looking to do a lot more, especially in the State of Georgia.”
“We’ve grown into 150 plus players and we’ve been able to a lot of things virtually, going to 33 different cities, handing out COVID supplies and other equipment wherever needed, and we are just getting started, We are less than a year old.”
New voting bills, signed into law by Georgia Governor Brian Kemp on March 26, have restrictions that disproportionately affect communities of color. The new legislation requires Georgia residents to have a photo ID for absentee voters by mail, reduces the amount of time voters will have to request an absentee ballot and reduces the number of places where dropboxes can be placed. It goes so far as to prohibit anyone from giving out food or water to voters who are waiting in line.
Moving the All-Star Game had been debated in the last week in the wake of the new Georgia voting law. On Wednesday, President Biden responded to questions about moving the game from Atlanta, saying he would “strongly support” pulling the game out of Atlanta because of a law he described as “Jim Crow on steroids.”
Following the passing of the voting law, MLB Players Association director Tony Clark told the Boston Globe that the union body was “very much aware” of the significance of the game being in Georgia and said that moving it would be considered.
The Braves are obviously ticked off with all of the potential revenue getting picked off in the ninth inning.
The new host city for the All-Star Game has not yet been determined. Manfred said MLB would continue with plans to celebrate the memory of Hank Aaron, who died this past January, during the All-Star Game events.