Cheltenham High School Hall of Fame

previous   |   back to index   |   next

 

Reginald

class of 1964
inducted in 1981

Reginald "Reggie" Jackson

Professional Baseball Player

Reginald Martinez Jackson, better known to sports fans around the world as "Mr. October" graduated from Cheltenham in 1964 as a four-sport varsity athlete. After graduation, Reggie received a scholarship to Arizona State where he played baseball and football. Selected by the Kansas City Athletics in the first round (second pick over-all) of the 1966 free-agent draft, Jackson began his professional baseball career.

Reggie played for the A's, both in
Kansas City and in Oakland from 1967-1975 who traded him to Baltimore in April 1976. A free agent the following year, he signed a four-year contract with the New York Yankees. Reggie moved to the California Angels in 1982 where he played for five seasons. He finished his career with the team he started, playing the 1987 season with the Oakland A's. But this list of teams and cities only begins to tell the journey of Reggie Jackson that started in Cheltenham and would end in Cooperstown.

Reggie Jackson played for four American League franchises, and all of these but the Orioles, where he only played one season, won at least two division titles during his stay. His
Oakland teams won three consecutive World Series championships, the only organization other than the Yankees to three-peat, and his Yankee teams earned back-to-back titles in 1977-78. When he was with the Angels, California twice came within a victory of its first pennant and World Series appearance. Reggie holds the major league career record for most league championship series played (11) most games (45) most at-bats (163) and the American League records for most RBIs (20) most hits (37) and most singles (24) in LCS play.

But it was in the World Series that "Mr. October" turned it on. Playing in five World Series and 27 games, Reggie batted an incredible .357 with 10 homeruns and 24 RBI's. He also holds the career slugging percentage record of .755, and holds or shares nine World Series records that contain the phrase "home run". In the 1977 Series against the Dodgers, the Yankees returned to
New York with a 3-2 game lead. Reggie had homered in a losing cause on his last swing of Game 5 against Don Sutton. In Game 6 he faced Dodger pitcher Burt Hooton. Hooton walked him on four pitches in his first at-bat. Next time up Reggie hammered the first pitch for a homerun. The next time up the Dodgers brought in Elias Sosa to pitch. Jackson knocked his first pitch over the wall. The last time up, Reggie faced knuckleballer Charlie Hough. Hough's first pitch landed 15 rows up in the center-field bleachers. With those homers, three on three-first pitches, Jackson produced five runs and staked the Yankees to an 8-4 victory and their first World Series championship in 15 years. It was also the signature moment of a remarkable career.

Voted to the American League All-star team 14 times Reggie finished his fabled career in 1987. His stats include 1551 runs, 2584 hits, 463 doubles, 49 triples, 1702 RBI's and 563 home runs, 6th on the all-time list.

In his first year of eligibility, Reggie Jackson was named on 396 of the 423 ballots submitted by the Baseball Writers' Association of America and was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame. His 93.6 percent approval rating has been exceeded by only nine players in the history of the voting. On
August 1, 1993 Reggie Jackson was the only player to be inducted into the Hall on that day. As his former teammate Willie Randolph said, "When you think about his career, especially in New York and the way he wanted to be on center stage, maybe it's appropriate that it worked out this way."

Today, Reggie lives in
California where he is an executive with Upper Deck.