The Incomparable Reggie Jackson Celebrates 75th Birthday| Nobody Was Clutch Like Mr. October

The Incomparable Reggie Jackson Celebrates 75th Birthday| Nobody Was Clutch Like Mr. October

By Devon Mason| Contributor 

 

Reggie Jackson aka Mr. October was Dynamic, Controversial and Amazing

Reggie Jackson ranks as one of the most dynamic players to ever walk onto a baseball diamond. Called “Mr. October” because of his clutch hits in the postseason for the Oakland Athletics and New York Yankees, Jackson proved he deserved his Hall of Fame selection in 1993 after 21 seasons in the big leagues.

Action Jackson played for the Kansas City/Oakland Athletics, New York Yankees, and California Angels between 1967 and 1987. His most famous moment, which elevated him to iconic status in the annals of New York’s illustrious sports history, was a performance for the ages in the 1977 World Series.

 

 

Jackson was born on May 18, 1946 in Wyncote, PA, a suburb of Philadelphia. His father was a World War II veteran and small business owner, running a dry cleaning and tailoring business. Despite Jackson’s multi-sport prowess, his father insisted that his son get a college degree.

Reggie attended Arizona State on a football scholarship, but that itch for baseball never went away.

Possessing tremendous power at the plate, he hit three home runs during five at-bats in his walk-on tryout at ASU.

That’s when it became 100 percent “Go-Time” with baseball.

Jackson spent the summer between his freshman and sophomore years working on his baseball skills and in his sophomore year he completely dedicated himself to diamond mining.

Success immediately followed, as Jackson set the school’s single-season home run record in 1966 and was named an All American.

The Athletics, then based in Kansas City, drafted him in June 1966.

Jackson spent his years with the Athletics, Orioles, Yankees and Angels. All four franchises were winners while he played for them.

The A’s moved to Oakland in 1968, Jackson had been called up earlier that summer, and that’s when both Reggie and the Athletics began to take off.

In 1969, Jackson hit 49 home runs and was on pace to break Roger Maris’ home run record. The A’s won the World Series three straight seasons (1972-74). Jackson was named World Series MVP in 1973. He was also considered controversial and known for being flamboyant, confident and outspoken.

When a teammate was asked if Jackson was a “hot dog” – a showoff – on the field, the reply was, “There isn’t enough mustard in the world to cover that dog.”

Reggie understood the value of star power and charisma and the Muhumad Ali style of ego jousting that captivated fans and media long before it was popular.

During his years in the “Bronx” with the Yankees, they won the 1977 and 1978 World Series. He was named MVP of the 1977 Fall Classic. His time in New York was marred by a tumultuous relationship with alcoholic manager Billy Martin who eventually quit his job in 1978, saying Jackson and Yankees owner George Steinbrenner “were made for each other.”

As a member of the Angels, they did not make the World Series but did win the AL West division title in 1982 and 1986, the first and last year of Jackson’s tenure with the team. He signed a contract with the Athletics in 1987, retiring at season’s end.

 

 

He finished his Hall of Fame career with 563 home runs, 11 playoff appearances, six league pennant wins, five World Series Championships, and 14 MLB All-Star selections.

Reggie has many memorable moments but these three stand out:

1. His three home run game in the 1977 World Series, it happened in Game 6 versus the Los Angeles Dodgers and is the “stuff of legendary proportions.” That game was the series and championship clincher for the “Bronx Bombers.” Every blast was on the first pitch of his at-bat. On the third one, commentator Howard Cosell said.

2. What a colossal blow!” Fearful of fans who had thrown firecrackers onto the field, Jackson donned a batting helmet to wear at his position in rightfield and sprinted to the dugout after the final out, in the process, knocking a few fans out of the way.

 

 

3. At the team’s 1978 home opener, the Yankees allowed Standard Bar to debut a new candy bar with his namesake attached to it. The “Reggie Bar”, was circular and it contained peanuts and was covered with caramel and chocolate. Jackson went yard in this game, and fans celebrated by throwing the candy bars on the field. Jackson misunderstood, thinking the fans didn’t like the candy bar. There was also a memorable commercial made for the product.

 

 

Of course, there were many other moments, such as Jackson hitting the go-ahead home run that gave the Yanks the lead and eventual win, in the 1978 playoff game against the arch-rival Boston Red Sox.

Jackson was a dynamic, controversial and amazing player that you couldn’t stop watching. He understood the value of theatre and never wilted in the big moment. He was uncanny in the way he seemed to perform his best when the stakes are high.

He’s the definition of a Hall of Famer, representing those transcending MLBbro personalities missing in today’s game to a large degree.

A captivating Black Knight who everybody wanted to be like. His three home runs in one World Series game would alone make him a legend. And for two decades he proved to be a winner no matter where he played.

Aaron Judge’s Booming Bat Was Double Trouble | Yankee Injuries Have Left Him Dolo

Aaron Judge’s Booming Bat Was Double Trouble | Yankee Injuries Have Left Him Dolo

Rob Parker called Aaron Judge out in an episode of “Foul or Fair” this week on MLBbro.com.

Parker said that Judge was being outshined by teammate Giancarlo Stanton and needed to elevate his game, assume leadership of the team, and produce, like the 52-homer rookie we all thought would ascend to the face of baseball. 

 

 

Judge must have been listening, because with teammate Aaron Hicks out and Stanton benched with quad issues, Judge found himself alone, without his fellow MLB bros to support him offensively.  

The 2017 American League Rookie of the Year smashed two homers in his first two at-bats to power the Yankees past Baltimore 5-4 on Friday night. 

 

 

Judge answered the call and carried a compromised Yankees lineup to victory over a pesky AL East division rival. It seems as if all of the Yankees-Orioles games this season have been dogfights. Judge’s two jacks put the Yankees ahead 2-1 to set the tone. 

Black Knight Cedric Mullins AKA CM Storm, got two more hits to raise his season total to 45, good for fourth in all of MLB.

Those hits weren’t enough, however, to overcome the Judgian blasts that rained down on Baltimore like a helicopter without gas, hurling to the ground. 

Meanwhile, the Yankees were finding a groove with Stanton and Judge finally both healthy in the lineup.

 

Hicks seemed to be coming around as well in recent games. However, as most people predicted, the Yankees’ two big boppers can’t stay healthy at the same time.

There’s a lack of continuity there that will probably come to sadly define this latest Yankees era, if these guys don’t ever get it together. 

So the game of seesaw between Judge and Stanton continues. When Stanton is healthy Judge is out, when Judge is out Stanton is rolling. It’s a weird dynamic that the Yankees have had to deal with. 

At least Judge seems to be locked in and willing to put the Bronx Bombers on his back for a stretch until reinforcements arrive and the pinstripes (2 games out of first place)  can make a serious move on the AL East crown.