The world of major league
baseball is coming down to the end of another season. Teams are lining up, or
making final runs, to win their division and get into the post-season. Fans are
anxious, players are hoping, coaches are doing what they can. For fans of the
game of baseball, this is the time of year when things really get exciting.
However, throughout the history of the game there is one player who has become
legendary for his play during the post-season, in particular his play during
the World Series. His name is Reggie Jackson, but he was such a force during
the post-season that he has become known as Mr. October.
Reggie Jackson spent years playing for a number of teams before he finally donned a New York Yankees uniform and earned his nickname. He was always well-respected. He was known for his ability to intimidate pitchers and pound the ball out of the park or over the outfield fence. It was during the 1970s, however, when the city of New York really needed something positive to cling to, that things got interesting and his fame during the post-season really grew.
When Jackson had joined the Yankees, in 1977, it was not a picnic. He immediately conflicted with manager Billy Martin. Of course, Martin was known throughout baseball for being difficult. Things came to a head in June of that year when the Yankees faced off against the Boston Red Sox and Jackson and Martin got into a physical confrontation in the dugout in a fight that was broadcast all across the country.
The Yankees would face off against the Los Angeles Dodgers that year in the World Series, despite those difficulties. Jackson would earn his nickname that series when another player referred to him as Mr. October because of his past performances in the World Series with Oakland and other teams. During games four and five of that series he would hit homers. Then came Game 6 and things took legendary proportions.
Jackson would end up hitting three consecutive home runs. Each time he hit the ball out of the park he did so on the very first pitch he faced. He also managed to do it off of three separate Dodgers’ pitchers. The first one came off of pitcher Burt Hooton, the second would come off of pitcher Elias Sosa, the third came off of Charlie Hough. Hough was a notorious knuckleball thrower, which meant his ball was much slower, meaning that the fact Jackson hit the ball such a distance was amazing.
The Yankees would end up winning the game that day, and the series, all thanks to the batting efforts of Jackson. Jackson would earn the World Series MVP, making him the first player to do that while with two different baseball teams. He would end up, over the course of his career, while making 27 World Series at-bats end up hitting 10 home runs.
In short, Reggie Jackson, for a time, was a fixture in the post-season, and while there he earned his nickname of Mr. October. It’s something that has not been seen since.