Reggie Jackson ranks among the best right fielders in Major League Baseball history, which boasts the likes of Hank Aaron, Frank Robinson, Tony Gwynn, and Roberto Clemente, among others. The aptly nicknamed “Mr. October” celebrates a birthday today.
Reginald Martinez Jackson was born in the Wyncote neighborhood of Cheltenham Township, just north of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His father, Martinez Jackson, a half-Puerto Rican, was a tailor and former Negro Leagues baseball player. At Cheltenham High School, Jackson was a standout football and baseball player and accepted a football scholarship with Arizona State University.
But the pull of baseball remained. Jackson tried out for the ASU baseball team, impressing coaches. He was drafted in the 1966 amateur draft and selected by the Kansas City Athletics before their 1968 move to Oakland, California. Jackson made his MLB debut with the team in 1967. He became an instrumental part of a three-year run of World Series wins starting in 1972, and was named the World Series MVP in 1973 along with the AL MVP award.
After an uneventful one-year stint with the Baltimore Orioles in 1976, he joined the New York Yankees the following year and brought immediate returns while becoming an even bigger star. As a member of the Yankees, Jackson won two World Series championships, and earned the nickname “Mr. October” for his post-season exploits and prowess.
By the time he ended his career with his first team, the A’s, during the 1987 season, Jackson had amassed five World Series wins, six pennants, 11 post-season appearances, 14 All-Star Game appearances, and won both the regular season and World Series MVP honors. Jackson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1993. He wore a Yankees cap on the plaque, as his ties to the A’s soured when the team fired him from a coaching position two years prior.
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