Bob Marshall said: “Just as nature fills a vacuum, Reggie fills a spotlight.”
Outspoken and charismatic, Reggie Jackson was never afraid to speak his mind. He was good – very good, and he knew it. In 1973, as a member of the Oakland Athletics, Jackson said that if he was playing in New York, they would name a candy bar after him. Within five years, those words came true.
Reggie could have been in New York sooner, had the New York Mets not passed on Reggie and taken high school catcher Steve Chilcott with the first overall pick of the 1966 amateur baseball draft. Jackson went second to the Athletics. But it was Jackson’s dream to play in New York. When he finally got there in 1977, he said: “I didn't come to New York to be a star, I brought my star with me”.
Named the World Series MVP in 1973 and 1977, Jackson’s star seemed to shine its brightest on baseball’s grandest stage. In five World Series, Jackson hit 10 home runs with 24 RBI while batting .357. His most memorable moment in the Fall Classic came in Game 6 of the 1977 World Series when Reggie hit three home runs on three pitches, earning the nickname “Mr. October.” Dodgers first baseman Steve Garvey later said: “I must admit, when Reggie hit his third home run and I was sure nobody was looking, I applauded in my glove.”
Reggie was also a star off the field, appearing in movies and television programs such as MacGuyver, Malcom in the Middle, BASEketball and The Naked Gun.
Jackson was a 14-time American League All-Star, a member of five World Series championship teams and won the American League MVP Award in 1973, where he led the junior circuit in home runs, RBI and runs scored. After five years in New York, Reggie moved back out west, joining the California Angels. During his first season with the Angels, Reggie once again led the league in home runs. Jackson finished his career back where he started, as a member of the Athletics.
In 21 big league seasons, Jackson totaled 2,548 hits, 563 home runs and 1,702 RBI.
He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1993.