Glancing Back, and Remembering Reggie Jackson
While the bulk of his Hall of Fame career could be found in the 1970s and early 1980s, Reggie Jackson’s best single offensive season came in 1969, when his outstanding numbers for the Oakland Athletics catapulted him among major league baseball’s dominant sluggers … a status he would maintain for nearly two decades.
The Kansas City Athletics selected Jackson in the 1966 major league baseball draft with the second overall pick. He spent only two years in the A’s minor league system. In his rookie year of 1968 (with the Athletics now in Oakland), Jackson hit .250 with 29 home runs (fourth in the American League) and 74 RBIs (eighth best in the league). He also led the league in strikeouts, something he would do four more times in his career.
In 1969, Jackson’s home run (47) and RBI (118) totals would be career bests. He led the major leagues in runs scored (123) and led the American League in slugging percentage (.608). He finished fifth in the balloting for Most Valuable Player (he would win the MVP award in 1973). He also made his first All-Star appearance (of 14 in his career).
After tours with the Baltimore Orioles, New York Yankees and California Angels, Jackson returned to Oakland for his final season in 1987. He finished his career with 563 home runs and 1,702 RBIs.
Jackson was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1993.