Friday, October 30, 2009

Card #7, REGGIE JACKSON Record Breaker!

Here we have it folks, card #7, Reggie Jackson Record Breaker. This is seventh and final record breaker card in the set. The record breaker cards all represent the stars of the day and 5 of those 7 players went on to enshrinement in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. This is one of only two (Pete Rose) record breaker cards that show an action shot. I have no idea where or when this photo was taken, but as a kid I was sure he was hitting his third homerun of the night off of Charlie Hough. As far as I can tell, this record still stands, which is pretty remarkable. With their late nineties run, it seems like all of the current World Series records are held by Bernie Williams, Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter. With 40 trips to the World Series, I guess it is only fair that Yankees players own most of the records. To quote the back of the card- “Reggie sets series mark with 5 round trippers” it goes on to say “Reggie belts 3 in final game. Reggie Jackson set 5 World Series records and tied 3 others in 1977. His five homers were the most in one classic as were his 25 total bases and 10 runs. Reggie also set mark with 3 consecutive homers in one game and 4 in a row over 2 contests. Babe Ruth had twice hit 3 homers in World Series game, in 1926 and 1928.” Four homers had been hit in the Series 6 times prior by 5 different people. Duke Snider hit 4 homers in a Series twice (’52 and ’55) and Jackson’s teammate Gene Tenace did it in 1972. After Reggie, Barry Bonds had a 4-homer in 7 games performance in 2002. Jackson hit 5 in just 6 games. Jackson’s mark of 10 runs scored in one series has been tied, by Paul Molitor in 1993, but not broken. His 25 total bases has also been tied, by Willie Stargell in 1979, but not broken. His 5 homers in one series and 4 consecutive homers still stand as his records alone. As a kid, Reggie seemed larger than life. Whereas Pete Rose made me think that if I hustled, I could be a good player, Reggie seemed almost like a super hero. In 21-seasons in the big leagues he was an All Star 14 times, the American League MVP in 1973 and the World Series MVP in 1973 and 1977. He also paced the league in homers 4 times and hit 563 over his career, which is 13th All Time. He earned the nickname “Mr. October” with the Yankees, but he excelled in the Series everywhere he played. In five World Series contests he owned a .357 batting average with 10 homers and 24 RBI. His World Series batting average is nearly 100 percentage points higher than his career BA of .262. He won all 5 World Series that he played in and all were within the decade of the 70’s, meaning he won half of the Series of that decade. As a kid I got a sports calendar every year for Christmas, it included baseball, football, basketball and hockey players. Regardless of the year, Reggie was always the photo in October, which makes it fitting that his card is profiled before this month is up. This is pretty obvious, but after his career was done, his final stop was in Cooperstown, New York. He was elected in the Hall in his first year of eligibility in 1993 receiving 94% of the votes. Although I wasn’t a huge Reggie fan growing up, I did admire and respect him. Like I said, he just seemed larger than life and because of that, I never really collected him. I just didn’t think I was worthy to collect such an amazing, super hero like player, that doesn’t mean that dealers didn’t have to wipe the drool off of this 1969 Topps card every card show that I went to. I can remember having 4 dollars in my pocket and going up and “saying, hey, how much would you take for the Reggie rookie? Oh, okay, I’ll have to think about it…” Good times. I really love this hobby of ours! Next up, regular cards, woo hoo! One more time begging, PLEASE add this to your blog rolls if you are reading it! Happy Collecting and set building to all!

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