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on October 9, 2013
Reggie already wrote an outstanding autobiography ("Reggie- the Autobiography") with Mike Lupica back in 1980's. That book was a far more comprehensive review of Reggie's life. If you read that book, this book wasn't going to tell you much more than what was contained in first book, and in "Reggie" he wasn't shy about naming names that are strangely not named in the stories repeated in "Becoming Mr. October." Since Reggie was an outstanding player and compelling personality, I expected more than what I got from this book. If you never read "Reggie" and don't intend to, "Becoming Mr. October" is a good book and that's why it got three stars. But instead of building from that book, Reggie basically recycled "Reggie" and therefore missed a chance to hit another October home run.
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on November 1, 2013
This book is poorly written and not very cohesive. The Bronx Zoo is a fascinating topic and Jackson is an all-time great baseball player. However this book is a struggle to read due to the long tangents and poor structure. At time it is incoherent and painful.
Mr. October should be ashamed of this book as it's style and lack of flow expose him in a very dim intellectual light.
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VINE VOICEon November 18, 2013
I really liked this book, I guess, primarily because I am a big Reggie Jackson fan. In 1977 and 78, I followed the Yankees and, although the issues concerned me, they produced and did it an big, exciting way. And, Reggie Jackson was a big part of that.

I especially liked his chapters on the last game of the 1977 World Series and his three home runs in three at bats. That was an exciting chapter to read and brought back good memories. I also liked the chapters on the end of the 1978 season. In my opinion, this is the best written version of that period of time: the "Boston Massacre", the one game playoff with Boston, and the series with Kansas City and Los Angeles.

Unlike other reviews, I think Reggie had very positive statements to say about all of his fellow Yankees. He related some of Thurman Munson's great events better than the recent autobiography on Thurman. And, he was even very congratulatory to Graig Nettles and highlighted his excellent fielding in the 3rd game of the 1978 World Series - that was quite a game! For both of them, Lou Pinella and others, he calls them many times consummate professionals who got the job done.

As mentioned in another review, he sometimes gets on his stoop about racism and to some level, I think that he is right. I recall being at a meeting with my boss from a Fortune 500 company at that time and the next morning after Reggie hit the three home runs, he met me for coffee prior to the meeting and starting our discussion by saying: "Did you see what the big N_g did yesterday?" I was shocked by that statement and our relationship was never the same after that. (And, this was from a Director of a Fortune 500 company!)

Extending these complaints to today's situation may or may not be fair. I don't think, for example, that it is fair to call people who disagree with President Obama's policies racist (as Reggie hints in this book). We just disagree. And, as Marco Rubio said: "we don't think that President Obama is a bad man, we just think that he is a bad President." We are allowed that belief just like some individuals believed that President Bush was a bad President. Only history will tell.

Personally, three out of my seven favorite baseball players of all time are black: Willie Mays, Reggie Jackson and Ernie Banks. (The other four are Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Thurman Munson and Graig Nettles - Yes, I am a Yankee Fan!) And, I suppose that you have to be a Yankee fan to really love this book like I do. Based upon my love for the Yankees and Reggie Jackson, warts, outspokeness and all, I'll give him a pass on getting on his stoop. He got it done and was an excellent baseball player in 1977/78.

If you are a Yankee fan also, I highly recommend that you give this book a try. You will probably react to it the same way that I did.

I hope someday to see Reggie in person and thank him for his excellent play and for writing this book detailing what happened in 1977 and 78 from his perspective.
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on November 24, 2013
This book was surprising honest and explained a number of misconceptions about Reggie's career, particularly the years with the New York Yankees. He is very candid on his dislike of manager Billy Martin and very complimentary about such teammates as Willie Randolph, Catfish Hunter, Ken Holtzman, Chris Chambliss and backup catcher Fran Healy. He didn't do much in the way of self-criticism, however. All in all, it was a very good read.
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on April 16, 2014
This is a pretty good book written by Jackson. When reading it, you have to take in to account that is is an autobiographer and is a little slanted. However, I feel that he did a good job presenting the story of the difficulties of playing for Billy Martin.
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on December 15, 2013
I think the word self-serving would have to be invented if it did not exist. Reggie Jackson is rehashing arguments from years ago that people have long forgotten about except him. Basically, Reggie was perfect, maybe a bit brash but the issue was entirely Billy Martin. He was the cause of all the problems that existed around Reggie as was racism. Yes that's right two separate entities were responsible for all his problems. This could have been an opportunity to focus on a great time but Reggie can't let go of his animus towards Billy Martin which, granted, is probably legitimate but Martin is dead and Reggie does no favors by opening it all up again.

I was disappointed by the book and the story. The Bronx is Burning, a book Reggie hates, does a much better job telling this story.
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I grew up with Reggie & will never forget his 3 Homers. It's still one of my greatest baseball memories as a kid. They being said, he still sounds like he has an axe to grind & the ego ! It's all about Reggie! He couldn't get off the subject of Billy Martin. He went on & on about it for the entire book & how he was mistreated. He sounds like a petulant child. He should've just shut his mouth, but he still doesn't get it.
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VINE VOICEon February 5, 2014
Pee Wee Reese once told Jackie Robinson that while it was terrible that some fans hated him for his color, some other fans just plain didn't like him. Robinson was a hot dog with an ego and chip on his shoulder and rubbed some people the wrong way regardless of the race issue. There are similarities with Reggie, though Jackson seems a bit more brittle and insecure compared to the towering strength of character that was Robinson.

I did not like Jackson when he first came to the Yankees. I don't think it was racial (though Jackson does convince me in this book that his press coverage was completely unfair and biased) -- I liked Ali and a host of other activist black athletes. However, I warmed up to Jackson. How could you not like the guy? How many times did he have to put the team on his back and carry it before you began to appreciate his extraordinary ability to rise to the occasion?

So, Jackson's emphasis of the race issue in his retelling of the first two decades of his career is a bit overstated and may rub some fans the wrong way. Those of us who didn't like Reggie or never warmed to him after a bit like I did were not necessarily racist.

However, Jackson does have a number of shocking things to say about the blatant racism he faced as a minor leaguer, the biased coverage he got in the press, and the nasty racist streak that Billy Martin had. On this last point, I think Martin's race taunting of Reggie had more to do with Martin's ugly need to probe into a man's vulnerabilities than with any inherent racism. Still, anyone who lived throught the endless Reggie/Billy battles of the late 1970s will learn from this book that Martin was in the wrong and that he would have been fired permanently under contemporary standards. Martin handled young players pretty well and had a lot of energy and imagination as a manager, but he lacked the core competencies to manage a mature and diverse group of veteran players.

Is it wrong to speak ill of the dead? I don't think so. Reggie got the shaft in the coverage at the time, and it is proper that he tell his side of the story. And Martin was a public figure who does have to be reevaluated posthumously.

The story of the brawling A's and Yankee teams of the 1970s never gets old, and this book is a good read. I wish Jackson had not chosen to end his story at the conclusion of the 1978 season. He had a lot of good and interesting years on some good teams thereafter. But he never won another championship, and perhaps Mr. October can't bear to tell the tale of lost Octobers. But those stories can be a lot more interesting than those of victories.
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on January 10, 2014
Sometimes when the person writes the story, it lacks some of the depth I am looking for. While I appreciate Mr. Jackson's ability on the
ball field, I wasn't as impressed with his descriptions in some areas, since I lived through that era as well.
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on July 15, 2014
Enjoyed reading about Reggie's travails about that season. Guess that New York really IS different experiencing it from afar as opposed to actually living and playing there for athletes. From reading his autobiography years ago he wrote extensively about his first year with the Yankees, and felt that was detailed enough, but really, really get a full-on idea about his relationships with Thurman Munson, Nettles and his teammates, along with Billy Martin and Steinbrenner. He had always said that was his most difficult year in baseball; got an very clear idea why he feels that way in this book.
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