By Reggie Jackson
A soul-baring, brutally candid, and richly eventful memoir of the 2 years—1977 and 1978—when Reggie Jackson went from outcast to Yankee legend
In the spring of 1977 Reggie Jackson must have been on most sensible of the realm. the simplest participant of the Oakland A’s dynasty, which gained 3 immediately global sequence, he used to be the 1st big-money loose agent, wooed and flattered by way of George Steinbrenner into coming to the recent York Yankees, which hadn’t gained an international sequence when you consider that 1962. yet Reggie was once approximately to profit, as he writes during this shiny and striking memoir, that till his preliminary event at the Yankees “I didn’t understand what by myself meant.”
His supervisor, the mercurial, alcoholic, and pugilistic Billy Martin, by no means sought after him at the group and permit Reggie—and the remainder of the team—know it. so much of his new teammates, envious of his agreement, have been aloof at top and opposed at worst. Brash and outspoken, yet unused to the ferocity of recent York’s tabloid tradition, Reggie hadn’t discovered how rumor and offhand comments can develop into screaming adverse headlines—especially for a black athlete with a multimillion-dollar agreement. Sickened by way of Martin’s anti-Semitism, his rages, and his rather public disparagement of his new famous person, ostracized via his teammates, and despairing of the way he was once stereotyped within the press, Reggie had lengthy talks along with his father approximately quitting. issues hit backside whilst Martin plotted to humiliate him in the course of a nationally televised online game opposed to the pink Sox. It appeared as though a wonderful profession were derailed.
yet then: Reggie vowed to persevere; his delight, paintings ethic, and skill may triumph over Martin’s approximately sociopathic hatred. progressively, he could win over the enthusiasts, then his teammates, because the Yankees surged to the pennant. And one magical autumn night, he grew to become “Mr. October” in a global sequence functionality for the a long time. He suggestion his travails have been over—until the subsequent season whilst the madness begun again.
Becoming Mr. October is a revelatory self-portrait of a baseball icon on the peak of his public reputation and personal affliction. packed with revealing anecdotes in regards to the infamous “Bronx Zoo” Yankees of the overdue Seventies and bluntly sincere portrayals of his teammates and opponents, this can be eye-opening baseball background as could be instructed in basic terms via the fellow who lived it.
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Extra info for Becoming Mr. October
I played on the freshman team, and everything went fine. We had ten games, all of them at home or within a day-trip away. The next year, in the spring of 1966, I was on the varsity. We played a fifty-game schedule and traveled around the Western Athletic Conference to the states in that region. The team had decided to have a vote, to see who would room with me when they traveled. I had to wait outside. When I look back on that, it just made me feel so small, so insignificant. I don’t know how many people actually objected to me, but it was a different thing for the team, having a black player, even in 1966—nineteen years after Jackie Robinson broke the color line in major-league baseball.
I bought three, four pairs of pants, four or five new shirts, a couple of sweaters, and a sport coat. My share of the hotel room was all of $3 a day, I think. We ate just around the corner, at this chain restaurant called the Hofbrau. They served good food, and it was cheap. You could get a whole meal, sauerkraut, mashed potatoes, turkey and gravy, and dessert, for a couple bucks. We’d eat there pretty much every day, then we’d go over to the ballpark, which was nearby as well. The Modesto Reds, that was our name, even though we were an A’s farm team.
All that stuff that went on, all the murders in the South, the burning of the churches, the murder of Martin Luther King—that all went on when I was a teenager or in my early twenties. It’s hard to get across to some people—what that does to you. Many think of it as ancient history: “Oh, my gosh, that was so terrible. Forty years ago, I can’t believe it! That’s the way it was? My, my, what a terrible thing. ” is what people would say. But my brothers and sisters, the six of us? We were raised in that era.
Becoming Mr. October by Reggie Jackson