Reggie's got a new memoir out, co-written by the most-talented Kevin Baker. Well, it is October, after all. Here's Roger Angell on Buck Tater:
Coming up out of the dugout before his next at-bat in a big game, Reggie Jackson was always accompanied by an invisible entourage: he was the heavyweight champion headed down the aisle for another title defense. The batter's box was his prize ring, and once he'd dug in there—with those gauntleted arms, the squashed-down helmet, the shades and the shoulders—all hearts beat faster. It really didn't matter what came next—a pop-up or a ground ball, a single or a dinger, or one of those tunneling-to-Peru strikeouts that ended with his helmet askew, his massive legs twisted into taffy ropes, and the man lurching and staggering as he fought for balance down there in the center of our shouting—because what he gave us, game after game, throughout a twenty-one-year career, was full value.
...From first to last, he was excessive; he excelled at excess...His ego, like his swing, took your breath away, but the dazzled, infuriated beat writers and columnists had to concede that it probably arose from the same deeply hidden, unforgiving self-doubt that whipped him to such baseball heights, mostly in the hard late going.
Never ever dull. Like when Bob Welch struck his ass out to end Game 2 of the 1978 Series.
Or when Reggie got his revenge against Welch in Game 6.
[Illustration By Nathan Geigud]