Corcoran: Reggie Jackson’s memorable Induction Day experience

From SABR member Dennis Corcoran at on October 17, 2016:

My first story will be about Reggie Jackson’s 1993 induction, and an event that took place during the induction weekend. Jackson was the only player voted in by the BBWAA with 93.6% of the vote, his first year on the ballot. Here are a few highlights during his induction speech as he began by asking the 20,000 people there to “stand up and relax” after they had been chanting “Reggie” for several minutes prior to his appearance at the podium.

Jackson admitted to his controversial nature as a player, and his tendency to be the center of attention. He mentioned Yankee teammate, Mickey Rivers, an unforgettable character in his own right, who summed up Reggie one day with the following description. “You know Reggie you got a white man’s first name in Reginald, a Spanish middle name in Martinez, and a black man’s last name in Jackson.” Rivers then finished by stating, “No wonder you’re so fouled up.”  Jackson finished up his speech by calling himself, “a small link in the chain of the wheel of baseball, from the past greats to the modern stars that helped keep baseball moving along for the benefit of the fans.” He concluded by acknowledging Lou Gehrig as other inductees have done as well, when he said, “Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth.”

During induction weekend, Jackson showed his flair for the dramatic. He interrupted his golf game with the other Hall of Famers by hopping over a stone wall at the Farmers Museum to take part in a nineteenth century town ball game that was being played be some local men. He proceeded to hit a 400-foot blast into the trees in his only at bat. Later he autographed the ball for the players, and inscribed a note on a program for a wheelchair-bound fan who was watching the game. A participant in the game wrote a story about the event and titled it, “Mr. July.”

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Originally published: October 20, 2016. Last Updated: October 20, 2016.