When looking back at MLB History, there are several players who stand out for their clutch performances and consistency over the course of their postseason careers. A short, compact, and elegant swing. That is the easiest way to describe one of Major League Baseball’s most clutch postseason hitters, Reggie Jackson, better known as Mr. October.
The polarizing Mr. October had his fair share of moments during the postseason before officially being dubbed with the flattering nickname. Over a span of 11 years, Jackson hit .278 with 18 home runs and 48 runs batted in during the postseason. Jackson appeared in 77 postseason games with the Oakland A’s, New York Yankees, and the California Angels.
MLB History: How Reggie Jackson Earned the Nickname Mr. October
While Jackson appeared in the postseason in 11 different seasons, it was Game Six of the 1977 World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers that solidified Jackson’s reputation as a postseason anomaly. October 18th, 1977 was the night that Jackson stepped into the box three times and got three hits — all three of them home runs — to cap off a perfect three-for-three night at the plate.
Jackson had two home runs in addition to the three he hit that night to complement a batting average that sat at .450 after the eventual New York victory as the champions of Major League Baseball. With the Yankees having 27 World Series titles to their credit, the most in MLB History, their 1977 pennant holds a special place in the franchise’s long-lasting legacy, with Reggie Jackson as the face of it all.
In 1978, the Yankees made it to the World Series yet again in a rematch against the team they had defeated in the year prior, the Dodgers. Jackson was able to sustain similar numbers to what he had put up in 1977. While he only hit two home runs in the World Series, he drove in eight and batted .391. New York would go on to defeat Los Angeles yet again.
Over the course of his 11 appearances in the postseason, Jackson finished his career with 18 home runs and 48 runs batted in for an overall batting average of .278. Suffice to say, his bat was a plentiful resource in leading his teams to victory.
MLB History: Reggie Jackson’s Candy Bar
Jackson’s heroics in October of 1977 led to more than just a World Series victory and being crowned MVP of the fall classic that year. The Reggie Bar was introduced by The Curtis Candy Company shortly after Jackson’s stellar run that year. The candy became an instant hit and production was at an all-time high in the late 1970s.
On opening day in 1978 at Yankee Stadium, The Reggie Bar was handed out to every attendee as a promotional giveaway. As Reggie Jackson does, the outfielder hit a home run on the very day the candy bar had been handed out to attending fans. The fans then threw the candy on the field as a curtain call for the outfielder’s clutch hitting, giving further folklore to Jackson’s legacy as a postseason hero.
MLB History: Reggie Jackson’s Legacy
The name Mr. October will forever be engrained in MLB History, with his incredible 1977 postseason leaving both Yankees fans and fans of the game in admiration of what he had done that magical fall.
Aside from his head-turning numbers in the postseason, the outfielder has an MVP award to his name, along with 14 All-Star Hame appearances. The various awards Jackson accrued over a 20-year career saw him belt 563 home runs and collect 2,584 hits eventually led to his being inducted into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame.
His shrine in Cooperstown shows him smiling in a New York cap along with a brief summary of his career feats. Jackson’s incredible run in the World Series was deemed worthy enough to be included on his Hall of Fame plaque. “In 1977 Series, hit record 5 homers, 4 of them consecutive, including 3 in one game on 3 first pitches off 3 different hurlers.” Reggie Jackson’s place in MLB History will not be soon forgotten.
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