Lights Out: Reggie Jackson Drives in 10 Runs
When: June 14, 1969
Where: Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts
Game Time: 3:23
For one inning, it was a contest. After that, it became a showcase for the Oakland Athletics’ bats, which on that day were as productive as they were merciless against Boston Red Sox pitching.
Reggie Jackson mauled Boston Red Sox pitching for five hits – including two home runs – and 10 RBIs. He raised his season batting average by 20 points in this one game.
Mostly, the game became an RBI showcase for a 23-year-old A’s outfielder with All-Star aspirations … and a Hall of Fame future.
Reggie Jackson came into the game batting .246 with 20 home runs and 35 runs batted in. By the end of the game, Jackson had raised his batting average by 20 points to .266. He had five hits in six at-bats, including two home runs and a double. He also walked once and scored two runs.
He single-handedly destroyed Red Sox pitching that day, and tattooed the craggy dimensions of Fenway Park, all on a day when his incredible output meant almost nothing in terms of the game’s outcome.
Jackson came to bat in the top of the first inning with one out and Bert Campaneris at second base. Jackson hit a ground-rule double for his first RBI of the day. Carl Yastrzemski tied the game in the bottom of the first with a solo home run, but a Dick Green RBI single in the second inning put the A’s back on top. Jackson hit a two-run homer in the third inning, hit a three-run home run in the fifth inning, and then struck out with the bases loaded to end the sixth inning. It was Jackson’s only out of the day.
Reggie Jackson finished the 1969 season with 47 home runs and 118 RBIs. He led the American League that season with 123 runs scored and a .608 slugging average.
He singled in two runs in the seventh, and then came to back in the eighth with the bases loaded. This time he launched a fly ball that cleared the wall in center field, ending the day with five hits – three for extra bases – and 10 RBIs. The Athletics really didn’t need Jackson’s production, as the team won 21-7. Jackson’s 10 RBIs didn’t account for half of his team’s runs.
The beneficiary of this firepower was John “Blue Moon” Odom, who won his eighth game of the season.
The 1969 season would be Reggie Jackson’s “breakout” year and his career season in most offensive categories. He finished the 1969 season batting .275 with what would be career-bests in home runs (47) and RBIs (118). He would lead the American League in runs scored with 123, and with a .608 slugging percentage.