Reggie Jackson Untouchable
LiveAuctionTalk.com: by Rosemary McKittrick
Photo courtesy of Hunt Auctions.
It was the fourth inning of game 6 of the 1977 World Series. The Yankees were leading the heavily favored Dodgers three games to two. One more win and the Yankees would wrap up it up.
The Dodgers were ahead 3-2 in the fourth inning and Yankee catcher Thurman Munson was on first when Reggie Jackson came up to bat.
Jackson drove the first pitch on a line into the right field stands. The next inning Jackson smacked the first pitch again into the right field stands. And he wasn’t finished.
He was the lead-off batter in the 8th inning and this time Jackson drove the very first pitch 475 feet into the centerfield stands.
The fans went wild and the Yankees clinched the World Series 8-4.
“That was a helluva pitch,” said Dodger manager, Tommy Lasorda. “When I seen him hit that pitch that far I seen the greatest performance I ever seen in a World Series.”
The right fielder had driven in four runs, four World Series home runs on four swings. A first.
Hitting the ball hard is what Reggie Jackson did best. He was the most desirable first time free agent of all time.
“I didn't come to New York to be a star, I brought my star with me,” he said about his skill. The fact that Jackson was already a powerhouse when he showed up in New York was a given.
He had won an MVP award and three World Series rings with the Oakland A’s. He also hit 281 home runs on the way to a 563 career total.
But the 1978 season started off dismally. The Yankees were 14 games behind the league-leading Red Sox. Manager Billy Martin was replaced by Bob Lemon and things began to shift for the team. The Yankees ended up winning the American League’s Eastern division and the championship playoffs.
Jackson was up against the Los Angeles Dodgers one more time in the World Series, and he blasted one hit after another. The Yankees swept the series 4-2.
Jackson was the kind of slugger who could shine under pressure and keep the fans out of their seats like few others. His performance in crucial moments led him to be called Mr. October.
“I love competition,” he said. “It motivates me, stimulates me, excites me. It is almost sexual,” he said.
Early greats like Jackie Robinson cleared the way and players like Reggie Jackson were filling the space in a big way.
Jackson had his critics. He spoke his mind with opinions on just about everything. Some called him an egotist. Others a genius. But there was no denying his magic on the field.
During his 20 year career Jackson led the teams he played for to five world championships and 11 division titles.
Stan Musial St. Louis Cardinals home jersey; exhibiting fine general use; Musial 56 is chain stitched in red onto tail front; 1956; $20,700.
Photograph; sepia toned; autographed; Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Mel Ott and Bill Terry; circa 1930s; 8 inches by 10 inches; $20,700.
Babe Ruth single signed baseball; circa 1930s; un-used; off-white; signed in black fountain pen; $21,850.
Cabinet photo; Joe Jackson; picturing Jackson in Cleveland uniform running to catch a ball; one of the most sought after Jackson card issues, only a few examples known to exist; 1911; $29,900.