Thursday, October 20, 1977

The Two Season of Reggie Jackson

Nearly three hours after his three home runs had won the World Series for the Yankees and redemption for himself, Reggie Jackson, like almost everyone else around him, appeared in awe of what he had accomplised. “There’s a part of me I don’t know,” he was saying softly at his locker. There’s a ballplayer in me that responds to all the pressure.”

At King Arthur’s Court on the Upper East Side in July he had said: “I’m still the straw that stirs the drink. Not Munson, not nobody else in the club.”

All the other Yankees had dressed and departed Tuesday night except for Thurman Munson who was on his way out now. “Hey, coon,” called the catcher grinning, “Nice goin’, coon.” Reggie Jackson laughed and hurried over and hugged the captain. “I’m going down to the party here in the ball park,” said Munson, grinning again. “It’s just for white people but they’ll let you in. Come on down.”

The day after the Jackson-Martin confrontation at Fenway in June, there was a meeting in Gabe Paul’s office. Jackson said Billy stood over him challenged him. He stood over me and said, “I’ll make you fight me, boy.” But there was no way I was going to fight him. I’m 215 pounds, he’s almost 50 years old. I win the fight, but I lose.”

That’d be something, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle and Reggie Jackson. Somehow I don’t fit.”

Thurman Munson reappeared. “Hey, nigger, you’re too slow, that party’s over but I’ll see you next year. I’ll see you next year wherever I might be.

“You’ll be back.”

“Not me,” said Thurman Munson, who has talked of demanding to be traded to the Cleveland Indians. “But you know who stuck up for you, nigger, you know who stuck up for you when you needed it.”

“I know,” said Reggie Jackson. “But you’ll be here next year. We’ll all be here.”

ex NYT Anderson 10/20/77

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