An interview with former Cardinals pitcher Al Jackson

From SABR member Mark Tomasik at RetroSimba on January 16, 2012:

Al Jackson, acquired in the trade that sent Ken Boyer to the Mets, had a positive and historical impact on the Cardinals. In his two seasons with them, Jackson, a left-handed pitcher, helped the Cardinals to a World Series championship, ranked among the National League’s elite in earned run average, pitched a one-hitter and posted an overall record of 22-19 with a 2.97 ERA.

On the afternoon of Jan. 13, 2012, I interviewed Jackson, 76, at the New York Mets’ spring training facility in Port St. Lucie, Fla. He was gracious with his time and thoughtful with his answers.

That tape-recorded interview is presented here:

Q: In 1964, the Cardinals went into the final three-game series of the season against the Mets, looking to clinch the pennant. In Game 1, the Cardinals started Bob Gibson and you started for the Mets. You beat Gibson and the Cardinals, 1-0, on a five-hitter, delaying the Cardinals’ clinching until the final day of the season. What do you recall about that game? Boxscore

Al Jackson: I was supposed to pitch the night before that in Milwaukee. And Casey (manager Casey Stengel) came to me and said, “They think we’re going to lie down in St. Louis. Why don’t you pitch the Friday night in St. Louis instead of Thursday in Milwaukee.” I said, “No problem.”

Q: Did you leave the Cardinals and their fans a little shaken by your performance?

Al Jackson: We were about 59 games out of first place. But no baseball game is a pushover. When we came into St. Louis, there were banners all over the town saying, “We’re going to the championship.” With us being so far out and such a poor club, they thought it would be a little easier than it was.


Read the full article here:

Related link: Read Greg W. Prince’s SABR BioProject biography on Al Jackson

Originally published: January 16, 2012. Last Updated: January 16, 2012.