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Reggie Jackson: The Life and Thunderous Career of Baseball's Mr. October Hardcover – May 11, 2010


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; 1 edition (May 11, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061562386
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061562389
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,160,134 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

While this is a fairly pedestrian biography of Hall-of-Fame slugger Reggie Jackson, it appears to be the first published for adult readers since Jackson retired after the 1987 season. Perry, a columnist for FoxSports.com, touches all the bases, including Jackson's tough but not racially or economically oppressive Pennsylvania childhood, his baseball career at Arizona State University, and his great if tumultuous years with the Oakland A's and the New York Yankees—along with his bitter feuds with those teams' owners, Charles O. Finley and George Steinbrenner, respectively. Perry teases out the combustible, contradictory, provocative aspects of Jackson's personality—not to mention his talent for demolishing a baseball—that still make him such an irresistible personality to this day. A solid companion to last year's well-received Sixty Feet, Six Inches, a book-length conversation between Jackson and Hall-of-Fame pitcher Bob Gibson. --Alan Moores

From the Back Cover

Baseball Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson earned the nickname "Mr. October" for the crucial clutch hitting that led his teams to the World Series six times and won him two series MVP awards, and this skill at the plate is perhaps what he is best remembered for. But behind the bat was a man many don't know—a man struggling to find his place in the world, at home, and in the sport that made him a star. Now, in the first biography of Jackson in more than twenty-five years—and the first to cover his entire career as a player—FOXSports.com columnist Dayn Perry provides an intimate, honest, and never-before-seen glimpse into the life and times of one of baseball's all-time greats.

A cantankerous man full of swagger with a fearsome talent to match, Jackson was an outspoken iconoclast as a player—a gift that made him friends and enemies of some of the most colorful characters in the game. As large a presence on the field as he was outside the ballpark, Jackson backed up his talk by establishing himself as one of the best sluggers the sport has ever seen.

Yet Jackson's story is about more than sports prowess. His life reflects a time, between Jackie Robinson and Ken Griffey, Jr., when black ballplayers were accepted but still considered inferior to their white teammates. There were unspoken rules to keep the racial waters still; Jackson not only ignored such conventions, he demolished them—paving the way for true equality for all black players.

From his childhood in a predominantly white neighborhood to heroics at the plate, from relationships with legendary players such as "Catfish" Hunter and Thurman Munson to battles with some of the sport's most powerful figures, including notoriously cheap Oakland A's owner Charlie Finley and the irascible George Steinbrenner, Reggie Jackson tells the full story of the man who was one of the first black baseball superstars—and one of the greatest players of all time.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

This book is a very enjoyable and easy read.
Brooklyn Joe
The book is a fair and fun depiction of one of the most flamboyant and gifted baseball players of the 1970s.
J. Hilbun
I grew up with sport fanatics as my best friends and somehow avoided becoming one myself.
S. Welsh

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Chip Sports Nut on May 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Excellent book that really dives into Reggie Jackson the man and not Reggie Jackson the hot dog. I thought it brought out much I didn't know about Reggie's time in the South during the civil rights bombings, the role Reggie played in establishing free agency and his unbalanced relationship with Charlie Finley (everyone explores Reggie's relationship with Steinbrenner.)

More a book about a man and a time than about the athlete. Shows how players now feel the freedom to express themselves anyway they want, but it was athletes like Reggie Jackson, Walt Frazier and Dick Allen that paved the way for this to be so. A great read whether or not baseball is your thing. Reggie was the most entertaining American athlete before Jordan and Magic and this book does much so show why he captivated the national eye for more than a decade.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Larry Underwood on May 25, 2010
Format: Hardcover
For a guy who only hit .300 once in his career (1980; right on the nose), and only drove in more than 100 runs six times over the course of twenty-plus big league seasons, Reggie Jackson certainly created quite a "stir" on and off the baseball field. What else would you expect from the self-proclaimed "straw that stirs the (Yankees) drink"?

If nothing else, Jackson was one of the most flamboyant performers the game has ever known; he put on quite a show, especially during his volatile stay in the Big Apple, as an integral part of that great Yankees team that won back to back World Series championships (1977 & '78). Who could forget his frequent run-ins with practically everyone in the organization; from Thurman Munson to Billy Martin to George Steinbrenner? It was baseball's version of "Dallas"; better yet, "Dynasty".

It's been quite some time since the last biography of Reginald Martinez Jackson was written (over 25 years), and Dayn Perry laudably captures the essence of Jackson's iconoclastic impact on the game. Jackson stormed through his career, saying whatever was on his mind; never wavering to any sort of politically correct approach to his opinions. At times, he was misunderstood or misquoted. Other times he was unsettling to the baseball establishment.

In the end, he changed the game, for better or worse. His cocksure demeanor brought a certain zest to a sport that was becoming a bit too bland and predictable for many fans; although some of the players that emulate his swashbuckling style today, are guys who couldn't carry his jockstrap when he was in his prime. Indeed, Mr October had an impact on the game far beyond his career numbers; and that impact is still being felt today.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By S. Welsh on June 6, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I grew up with sport fanatics as my best friends and somehow avoided becoming one myself. Nevertheless, my regular brushes with their fanaticism left me respectful of their religion and marginally aware of their gods. Reggie was one of the biggest. I bought this book having almost no exposure to baseball, so this review is simply on my enjoyment reading the book as a biography that humanizes celebrity.

Basically, I could not put the book down. For me, everything was new information but it wasn't that fact that made the book so enjoyable. Yes, I could have likely accumulated some of the book's information from 20 years of miscellaneous articles and news reports, but why? Dayn Perry has done the research and created a book that is more that just a grouping of facts. He actually tells an engaging story about Reggie's life that left me, the reader, emotionally invested in Reggie: hopeful for him to turn his relationships around; sad for his turmoil; disgusted at the bigotry; and prideful of his thunderous homers. For a baseball book to accomplish this for a guy with only passing interest in the sport should signal the quality of the author's work and his connection to his subject.
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Format: Hardcover
Reginald Martinez Jackson was born May 18, 1946 in Abington, Pennsylvania. By the time his Major League baseball career was complete he had become one of the few stars to be known simply by one name: **REGGIE**. As this well documented biography makes crystal clear... without pulling any punches... it wasn't just the 563 lifetime homeruns... or the league MVP award... or the two World Series MVP's... or the five world championships... that guaranteed his notoriety... but just as important was his grandiose... egotistical... the world is my oyster... and the world is lucky to have me... flaw driven personality... that kept him center stage as if he was the star of a terrible soap opera. What the author accomplishes is to make clear to the reader that despite the fact that Reggie bombastically presented to the world's audience that he was the most self- confident individual you would ever hope to meet... he was actually a person that was not well-liked by many of his peers... in fact it is made pretty obvious by the author that he was actually hated by many... and deep inside Reggie's soul he yearned with great sadness to be liked and to be considered a friend by his peers. And that simply was not the case... as he was reduced... to lonely anguished tears... on numerous occasions.

Jackson's Father Martinez, "whose mother was a light-skinned Hispanic, even looked white and passed himself off as such when he needed to." Though African-American... "Reggie learned from his Father that it was normal, even desirable, to assimilate into white society." As the reader treads through Reggie's entire life... you'll see that he only got on a pedestal to proclaim his "blackness" when it would benefit him... otherwise he tried to live outside his race.
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