Reggie Jackson 1969 #260
by William Szczepanek
This Topps card #260 from 1969 is the rookie card for Reggie Jackson. Because Jackson played into the late 1980s (1987) he is not often thought of as a player from the Golden Age (1952-1974), but his first year in the majors was 1967. By 1968 he was well established as a premier hitter and came in 17th in the MVP voting for that year. Jackson was raised by his father, who played for the Newark Eagles of the Negro Leagues.
He is best known for his playing days of the late 1970s when he crushed 3 home runs for the Yankees in a single game in the 1977 World Series after hitting single home runs in the previous two games. He helped win 2 consecutive titles for the Yankees after having done the same for 3 Oakland A's Series winners. He sports a lifetime .357 World Series batting average and the highest World Series slugging percentage, .755, thus the reason for his nickname, "Mr. October".
With 563 home runs he is currently 13th on the career home run list. Along with his great performances come the typical negative records of power hitters. Jackson holds the career strikeout record of 2,597 having led the league in strikeouts 5 times, while leading the league in home runs 4 times. A fourteen time All Star Jackson won his only MVP Award in 1973 when he led the league in runs, home runs and RBIs.
His flamboyant personality along with playing for the Yankees' Billy Martin and George Steinbrenner and the A's Charlie Finley led to may run ins with his bosses primarily over who was the biggest star. Even through the chaos he was a winner with both.
In 1969 Jackson was 23 games ahead of Ruth's pace with 40 home runs near the end of July, but his bat went quiet for the last couple months of the season. Subbing for Tony Oliva In the 1971 All Star game in Detroit Jackson's home run shot cleared the right field roof and would have left the stadium of it had not hit the light tower.
Jackson had one year with Baltimore sandwiched between his stints with the A's and Yankees. He ended his career with the A's after playing for 5 years with the California Angels. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1993.