Reggie Jackson celebrates his 78th birthday on May 18th.

Reginald Martinez Jackson, better known as Reggie Jackson or “Mr. October”, was born on May 18th, 1946, in Wyncote, Pennsylvania. Son of Martinez Jackson, the former second baseman for the Newark Eagles, Reggie Jackson was a star athlete in high school, participating in sports all year round.  

Reggie Jackson first showed his dedication and love for playing sports when he injured his knee playing football, something that should have stopped him from playing football again. Yet, he returned for the final game of the season, where he suffered an even more severe spinal injury that almost left him unable to walk for the rest of his life, but like his knee injury, he persisted anyway and returned to sports soon after his recovery. 

Despite his football injuries, he was a star on the baseball diamond, batting .550 and throwing several no-hitters. His skills in baseball had Reggie Jackson receiving offers from the San Francisco Giants, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Minnesota Twins. However, he wanted to continue in school, eventually accepting a football scholarship with Arizona State.  

His freshman year, Reggie Jackson impressed ASU’s baseball coach, hitting three home runs in five at-bats, earning him a spot on the team the following year due to an NCAA rule about freshman players. Upon joining the baseball team, he permanently left football, going on to break the team’s single season home run record and led the team in numerous other areas. 

In the 1966 MLB draft, Jackson was selected second overall by the Kansas City Athletics, signing with the team for $95,000 at age 20. He would stay in the Minor Leagues until moving up to the majors in 1967. From there, he performed well, hitting 47 home runs in 1969 and reaching the 1971 All-Star Game.

In 1971, Reggie Jackson helped take the Athletics to a division title and began creating his legacy that started his “Mr. October” moniker. While they lost in the American League Championship that year, they were back the following year, with Jackson helping them defeat the Detroit Tigers before tearing his hamstring, making him miss the 1972 World Series, which the Athletics won.  

Once again, the Jackson and the Athletics were back on top in 1973, with Reggie Jackson earning the award for Most Valuable Player of the American League that season. He was also awarded the World Series’ MVP for his performance in their victory against the New York Mets that year. Yet again they were back for a three-peat in 1974, defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers in five games.  

In 1975, the team was once again back in the playoffs, but fell short in the American League Championship Series. In those nine years with the Athletics, Jackson hit 254 home runs, scored 714 runs, and racked up 1,154 hits. The next year, he was traded to the Baltimore Orioles, helping the team finish second in their division, but failing to land a playoff spot.  

Following the 1976 season, the Orioles allowed Reggie Jackson to become a free agent, where he was quickly swept up by the New York Yankees following their loss in the World Series the previous year. Despite a rough start to his first season in New York, including one of the most historic dugout fights in baseball history, Jackson was still a massive contributor to a successful season. 

Reggie Jackson took the Yankees back to the World Series after helping them get ahead in a tight race for the division title. His performance in the 1977 World Series was legendary, hitting four home runs in four consecutive swings of the bat, three of which coming in the same game putting him in elite company. His performance earned him the World Series MVP award, making him the first to do so for two teams.  

Following this, Reggie’s post-season magic continued, helping bring the Yankees to the 1978 World Series and added the finishing touch to their series-clinching 7-2 victory with a two-run home run in the 7th. Over the next three years, he was unable to take the Yankees to another World Series victory, eventually becoming a free agent again and getting signed by the California Angels. 

While with the Angles, Reggie Jackson was able to help the team become division champions twice, only to lose in the ALCS both times. In 1987, he returned to the Athletics for a final season, retiring at the age of 41. Over his entire career, he managed to hit 563 home runs, 1551 runs, and 2584 hits.  

After retiring, Reggie Jackson was a special advisor for the Yankees. In 2021, he became a member of the Houston Astros’ organization as special advisor to the owner, focusing on the community. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1993, with his uniform numbers 44 and 9 retired by the Yankees and Athletics respectively. 

  • 1977 WS Gm6: Reggie Becomes Mr. October

  • 1981 ALDS Gm5: Jackson's Two-Run Homer Ties the Game

  • 1978 WS Gm6: Jackson Clubs a Two-Run Shot Off Welch

  • NL@AL: Reggie's Blast Nearly Leaves Tiger Stadium

  • OAK@CWS: Reggie Jackson's Single In His Final At-Bat

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