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Rose Mary
By Rosemary McKittrick
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REGGIE JACKSON ULTIMATE COMPETITOR THIS WEEK AT LIVEAUCTIONTALK.COM

REGGIE JACKSON ULTIMATE COMPETITOR THIS WEEK AT LIVEAUCTIONTALK.COM
Reggie Jackson, pinstriped, New York Yankees home jersey attributed to the 1978 World Series; sold for $41,400. Photo courtesy of Hunt Auctions.
It was the fourth inning of game six of the 1977 World Series. The Yankees were leading the heavily favored Dodgers three games to two. One more win and the Yankees would wrap up it up.

The Dodgers were ahead 3-2 in the fourth inning and Yankee catcher Thurman Munson was on first when Reggie Jackson came up to bat.

Jackson drove the first pitch on a line into the rightfield stands. The next inning Jackson smacked the very first pitch again into the rightfield stands. And he wasn’t finished.

He was the lead off batter in the 8th inning and this time Jackson drove the very first pitch 475 feet into the centerfield stands.

The fans went wild and the Yankees clinched the World Series 8-4.

“That was a helluva pitch,” said Dodger manager, Tommy Lasorda. “When I seen him hit that pitch that far I seen the greatest performance I ever seen in a World Series.”

The rightfielder had driven in four runs, four World Series home runs on four swings. A first.

Hitting the ball hard is what Reggie Jackson did best. He was the most desirable first time, free agent of all time.

“I didn't come to New York to be a star, I brought my star with me,” he said about his skill. The fact that Jackson was already a powerhouse when he showed up in New York was a given.

He had won an MVP award and three World Series rings with the Oakland A’s. He also hit 281 home runs on the way to a 563 career total.

But the 1978 season started off dismally. The Yankees were 14 games behind the league-leading Red Sox. Manager Billy Martin was replaced by Bob Lemon and things began to shift for the team. The Yankees ended up winning the American League’s Eastern division and the championship playoffs.

Against the Los Angeles Dodgers one more time in the World Series, Jackson blasted one hit after another. The Yankees swept the series 4-2.

Jackson was the kind of slugger who could shine under pressure and keep the fans out of their seats like few others. His performance in crucial moments led him to be called Mr. October.

“I love competition,” he said. “It motivates me, stimulates me, excites me. It is almost sexual,” he said.

Early greats like Jackie Robinson cleared the way and players like Reggie Jackson were filling the space in a big way.

Jackson clearly had his critics. He spoke his mind and had opinions on everything. Some called him an egotist. Others a genius. But there was no denying his magic on the field.

During his 20 year career Jackson led the teams he played for to five world championships and 11 division titles.

On Feb. 26-27, Hunt Auctions in Exton, Pa., featured a 1978 Reggie Jackson, pinstriped, New York Yankees home jersey attributed to the 1978 World Series. The jersey sold for $41,400.

Here are some current values for other top lots in the sale.

Baseball

Stan Musial St. Louis Cardinals home jersey; exhibiting fine general use; Musial 56 is chain stitched in red onto tail front; 1956; $20,700.

Photograph; sepia toned; autographed; Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Mel Ott and Bill Terry; circa 1930s; 8 inches by 10 inches; $20,700.

Babe Ruth single signed baseball; circa 1930s; un-used; off-white; signed in black fountain pen; $21,850.

Cabinet photo; Joe Jackson; picturing Jackson in Cleveland uniform running to catch a ball; one of the most sought after Jackson card issues, only a few examples known to exist; 1911; $29,900.


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