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Mr. October - The Legend of Reggie Jackson

October 10, 2016

Mr. October - The Legend of Reggie Jackson

Reggie Jackson is today rightly regarded as maybe the best clutch hitter in history, and Jackson's record definitely speaks for itself. 

As a right fielder for the Oakland Athletics in the early 1970s, Jackson lead the charge as Oakland went on to win an astonishing five consecutive American League West divisional pennants.

Greatness Wherever He Went 

Jackson was actually then able to turn three of those five divisional pennants into American League pennants…and ultimately three World Series rings to boot. 

Once traded to the New York Yankees - where Jackson's legacy is ultimately cemented - he helped segue four American League East divisional pennants into three American League East pennants and back-to-back World series championships.

One of those World Series for the Yankees (1977) saw Jackson hit three home runs in Game 6 and ultimately bring the pennant home to the Big Apple. 

Aside from these scintillating moments of awesome clutch hitting, though, what really stands out with Reggie Jackson is the consistency of his greatness.

Member of the 500 Club 

Jackson veritably slammed his way into the Hall of Fame in 1993 by capping off a career that included 563 home runs and an astounding 14 American League all-star appearances sprinkled throughout his career with four different American league teams.

Although we think of Jackson as a perennial Yankee, Reggie Jackson started his career with the Oakland Athletics (then the Kansas City Athletics) in 1967 before briefly playing for the Baltimore Orioles during the 1976 season.

 

Truly Mr. October 

In the heyday of Jackson's career, Mr. October wore pinstripes in right field and played for the Yankees between 1977 and 1981. After a short stint with the Angels late in his career, Jackson finally hung it up where he started by finishing his last year in the league with the Oakland Athletics in 1987. 

The super impressive thing about Reggie Jackson is his uninterrupted greatness with the Yankees - from 1977 to 1984 Reggie Jackson didn't miss an American League all-star appearance.

During that time span, he brought home two World Series for the Yankees (1977 and 1978). In the former year, 1977, Reggie "Mr. October" Jackson lived up to his nickname by being named the World Series most valuable player. One of the reasons is: 

October 18th, 1977 

It's a date that will always be woven in Yankees' lore. The series was 3-2 favoring the Yankees heading into Game 6 with the Los Angeles Dodgers having just won Game 5 in a convincing 10-4 victory. 

Then came Reggie Jackson. In the fourth inning Jackson slammed his first homer…on the first pitch from Dodgers' pitcher Burt Hooton. The Yankees then went on a tear and Jackson came back up to bat in the fifth inning, where he connected on another long ball against Elias Sosa. 

To manic cheers from over 56,000 Yankees' fans packed into the stadium that day, Jackson hit another homer in the eighth inning to clinch the World Series: a 450 foot-plus shot to make Jackson the first to hit 3 homers in a World Series game since Babe Ruth in 1928. 

September 17th, 1984 

Jackson officially became the 13th player in MLB history to reach the 500 club when he belted Bud Black's first-pitch fastball into the cheap seats - what's amazing is that his homer came 17 years to the precise day after Jackson's first homer…at the same ballpark in Anaheim with the Angels.

It came full circle in another way: Jackson is a special advisor to the Yankees today and continues his Hall of Fame legacy (Jackson's #44 still retired) where he truly earned his nickname.  


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