Reggie Jackson’s three Game 6 home runs lift Yankees to World Series title
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“Goodbye! Oh, what a blow! What a way to top it off!” Cosell yelled as the ball bounced off the black-painted batter’s eye and into a fan’s waiting hands. “Forget about who the Most Valuable Player is in the World Series. How this man has responded to pressure.”
With that, Reggie Jackson cemented his reputation as Mr. October – and clinched Game 6 and the World Series for the New York Yankees.
Jackson’s three-homer game put an end to a season of turmoil that began when he left Baltimore for New York via free agency following the 1976 campaign. With a tumultuous clubhouse throughout the 1977 season, the Yankees thrived and Jackson hit 32 home runs and drove in 110 runs as New York won 100 games and the American League East title.
But in the American League championship series against the Royals, Jackson slumped and was eventually benched to start the deciding fifth game after recording just one hit in 14 at-bats in the first four games.
In the eighth inning of Game 5, however, Yankees manager Billy Martin called on Jackson to pinch hit – and Jackson delivered a run-scoring single that cut the Royals’ lead to 3-2 and led to New York’s eventual 5-3 win.
In the World Series, Jackson hit five home runs in the final three games – driving in eight runs and finishing with a record 25 total bases. He was named World Series MVP for the second time in his career, matching his performance in the 1973 World Series with the Oakland Athletics.