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Saturday, December 15, 2012

WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO REGGIE JACKSON?

I grew up loving to watch the arrogance of Reggie Jackson and the irony was, he was a terrific home run hitter, he came up in big moments, but it was an average outfielder and struck out a hell of a lot.  That being said, if you’re a Yankee fan, “clutch” is what you want and Reggie was it.  Reggie drove the story of his time in the Bronx and when he went out to the Angels, it was hard for Yankee fans, me especially.

Years later, it was great to see him back and chatting it up with the Yankee players as an advisor of some sort.  Reggie is an iconic Yankee and always will be.  He exemplifies what George Steinbrenner wanted his Yankee team to be.  He and Catfish Hunter were big free agents who the Boss signed to come to the Bronx and help the team win, and they did, a few times. 
That put George on the map and brought the Yankees back into mad popularity.  Don’t misunderstand me, the Yankees were always popular, we were the Yankees, but when teams don’t win, fans don’t always show up to the stadium and I remember many years of that.  In the end, we are always Yankee fans, but the passion may not be as great if we’re losing.  That’s my take at least.

Since that awkward interview with Reggie Jackson in Sports Illustrated (HERE) in the summer where he chatted it up about the Hall of Fame, PEDs and Alex Rodriugez, Reggie Jackson disappeared.  The Yankees clearly didn’t want him to be a distraction and in the end, he understood and took a walk, but then… nothing.  It was like Reggie disappeared… until now.

I was in the greatest city in the world 2 days ago and was waiting to cross the street.  Found the great Hall of Famer, Reggie Jackson, offering his services for Gray Line tour bus company. My heart sank. 


This is the guy that kid’s looked up to in the 70’s.  I mean, the guy had his own candy bar for crying out  loud… #44. 3 home runs in the World Series and after his vanishing act this past summer, I find him on a broken down tour bus full of tourists.  I was sad.

It’s funny, I once had a conversation with a very good friend of mine who happens to know Yogi Berra…directly or indirectly, it doesn’t matter, but the story he told me I found interesting and it’s based on interpretation, not fact.  He told me simply, a lot of these players from “back in the day” weren’t paid nearly what players get paid today.  They needed to keep working, some didn’t invest well, others thought they were larger than life and unstoppable…until it was over.  When I saw Reggie’s face on that tour bus giving the “thumbs up”, I thought about that story.

Look, Reggie will always be one of my favorite Yankees.  If you can be like Reggie as a kid, you needed to walk to the batters box with a strut, an arrogance and swing for the fences… that was Reggie.  9 times out of 10 you were successful, because you believed in yourself.  But that 1 time he didn’t get that “clutch” hit, well, it reminded me of that tour bus… alone, standing like he was saying to me, “I still got it.”  I don’t know… As far as I’m  concerned, Reggie needs to come back to the Yankees.  Whatever he said about Alex is over. He apologized…bring him back, because I can’t bare to see a champion look like he does on that Gray Line tour bus. To me, it just doesn’t seem right.

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1 comment:

  1. Sorry if you were confused. I actually didn't say Reggie was broke but that I merely thought of the story of Yogi.

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