Reggie Jackson Speaks Publicly About Steinbrenner’s Death

Reggie Jackson was able to speak publicly for the first time since George Steinbrenner’s death Tuesday of a massive heart attack.

On Old-Timers Day, Saturday, July 17, Jackson finally spoke out from inside the Yankee’s stadium interview room.

“I just got quiet for a couple of days, he said ….”I had just spoken to him on his birthday (July 4) and we had a wonderful conversation. I was a frequent caller to him and we stayed in touch. The last eight months or so we’ve had wonderful conversations, talking baseball. The conversations were so good for so many months that I guess I was caught off guard.”

At the time of Steinbrenner’s death Jackson admits, “I wasn’t ready to talk. … “I don’t think I could have held it together very well.”

“We were never enemies,” Jackson said. “There are players and owners in history who are tied together. I’m proud to be tied to him. That will never change.”

The Yankees signed Jackson to a five-year contract on November 29, 1976.

Jackson’s first season with the Yankees was in 1977 and was a difficult one. Although Yankee’s owner George Steinbrenner, catcher and team captain Thurman Munson and outfielder Lou Piniella, were excited about his arrival, Yankee’s manager Billy Martin was not.

Martin had managed the Tigers in 1972, when Jackson’s A’s beat them in the playoffs. Jackson was once quoted as saying of Martin, “I hate him, but if I played for him, I’d probably love him.”

Jackson went on to win two consecutive titles with the New York Yankees

Reggie Jackson, nicknamed “Mr. October” for his clutch hitting in the postseason, currently serves as a special adviser to the New York Yankees.

Jackson was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1993. He now resides in Carmel, California.

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