Reggie Jackson

Position: Outfielder
Teams: Kansas City Athletics, 1967; Oakland Athletics, 1968-1975, 1987; Baltimore Orioles, 1976; New York Yankees, 1977-1981; California Angels, 1982-1986

Reggie Jackson
With Reggie Jackson in right field, the
A's won five consecutive AL West titles
and three world championships.

When Reggie Jackson was a kid, his father sent him to an ice cream stand for a vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate cone. Not finding all three flavors, Reggie traveled to several stores for separate quantities of each flavor, so as to avoid having to go home empty-handed. Failure was not an option in the Jackson household; it was understood that the job would get done.

It was from that environment that Jackson grew into a player who viewed himself as a horse who could carry the load. Reginald Martinez Jackson was born in 1946 in Wyncote, Pennsylvania. His father, Martinez, was a ballplayer in the Negro Leagues, no doubt passing his athletic talent and instincts as well as the sturdy upbringing on to his son. Jackson would need all of those attributes in the employ of owners Charles Finley in Oakland and George Steinbrenner in New York.

An outstanding high school football player, Jackson received 51 scholarship offers. He went to Arizona State as a football defensive back and a baseball player, starred for a couple of years, and was the second player picked in the 1966 baseball draft by Kansas City. He made his major-league debut in 1967 as a member of the A's.

When the franchise moved to Oakland in 1968, Reggie blossomed, hitting 29 homers with 74 RBI. While the nucleus of Oakland's dynasty was forming, including Hall of Fame pitcher Catfish Hunter, Reggie became a superstar in 1969, leading the league with 123 runs scored and a .608 slugging percentage.

In 1971, Oakland won the first of five straight West Division titles. Jackson hit 32 homers, not including the shot off the light tower in the All-Star Game. He matched his 32-homer output in 1973, when he won the AL MVP Award. The years from 1972 to 1974 brought three straight World Series championships as the A's, united in a dislike for owner Finley, brawled their way to a dynasty.

Free agency finally broke up the A's, and Jackson was traded to Baltimore for the 1976 season. After playing out his option, he joined the Yankees, where he clashed with manager Billy Martin and owner George Steinbrenner.

Jackson called himself "The Straw that Stirs the Drink," alienating himself from his teammates. But in Game 6 of the 1977 World Series, Jackson hit three homers on three swings of the bat to deliver the title to the Yanks; that feat assured him of his "Mr. October" designation.

After five years in New York, Jackson moved to the California Angels, helping them to a first-place finish in 1982 and 1986. The spotlight again found Jackson in 1993, as he was only player inducted to the Hall that year.

Here are Reggie Jackson's major league totals:


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