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 best of the realm. the easiest participant of the Oakland A’s dynasty, which received 3 immediately international sequence, he used to be the 1st big-money loose agent, wooed and flattered by means of George Steinbrenner into coming to the hot York Yankees, which hadn’t gained a global sequence seeing that 1962. yet Reggie used to be approximately to profit, as he writes during this shiny and superb 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 staff and permit Reggie—and the remainder of the team—know it. so much of his new teammates, green with envy of his agreement, have been aloof at most sensible 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 feedback can become screaming unfavorable headlines—especially for a black athlete with a multimillion-dollar agreement. Sickened via Martin’s anti-Semitism, his rages, and his relatively public disparagement of his new famous person, ostracized via his teammates, and despairing of ways he was once stereotyped within the press, Reggie had lengthy talks along with his father approximately quitting. issues hit backside while 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 have been derailed.
yet then: Reggie vowed to persevere; his satisfaction, paintings ethic, and skill could conquer Martin’s approximately sociopathic hatred. steadily, he may win over the fanatics, then his teammates, because the Yankees surged to the pennant. And one magical autumn night, he turned “Mr. October” in an international sequence functionality for the a while. He inspiration his travails have been over—until the subsequent season while the madness started again.
Becoming Mr. October is a revelatory self-portrait of a baseball icon on the peak of his public repute and personal affliction. packed with revealing anecdotes concerning the infamous “Bronx Zoo” Yankees of the overdue Nineteen Seventies and bluntly sincere portrayals of his teammates and rivals, this can be eye-opening baseball heritage as should be informed simply by means of the guy who lived it.
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Additional resources for Becoming Mr. October
I heard it was Bob Scheffing, who was the Mets’ director of player development then—the same guy who traded Nolan Ryan a few years later, after Scheffing became general manager. He saw to it they drafted a guy named Steve Chilcott, a high school catcher who would become one of only two first picks in history to retire without ever playing a single game in the majors. Scheffing denied it later, said there was nothing racial about it. Then he tried to blame it on Casey Stengel, who was about seventy-five years old at the time and doing some scouting for the team.
People think it’s a happy clubhouse that makes a winner, but it’s not. It’s the other way around. You win, then you have a happy clubhouse. You’re not winning, the owner’s not happy. The general manager’s not happy; the manager’s not happy. Nobody’s happy. That’s what life is. That’s the sociology of sports. It builds on itself. You’re winning, the clubhouse gets happy, everybody’s having a good time. Everybody stays loose. What’s the saying Al Davis had? ” But if you’re not winning, and you have a happy clubhouse, you’re accepting losing.
We were thirteen, fourteen, and we didn’t know what to say. I just felt like the sole of a shoe. Call it a petty humiliation, but there was nothing “petty” about it. “Mountainous” would be a better word. Those humiliations become scars. They become wounds—and then they get opened up again, on another day. And then before the scab heals, someone else opens it up. You wind up getting in a fight with someone because of something else you’ve had on your mind for two years. And dating—there was a girl in our neighborhood, her name was Helen S.