A Biography in 1,000 Players No. 53 Reggie Jackson (Number 7 Right Field)

There are seven right fielders in the inner circle. It could be too much. Right Fielders do very well in my formula. I think because so many can play defense and are excellent hitters. However, early in his career Reggie was a above average fielder. Basically, throughout his 9-year stint in Oakland to start his career. Then his fielding ability faded. It could have been changing locations, but a bigger part was he turned 30 after leaving Oakland. A lot of players defensive ability go down after turning 30. Reggie’s certainly did. I also wonder if he had problems seeing the ball.

Reggie wasn’t the most modest player. I remember him on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1973 saying Super-duper Star, except I think it was all one word. In the story it mentioned that he helped come up with the term, as he was so good, he wasn’t a mere Superstar. He was the unanimous MVP that year and it was well deserved. He was also the MVP of the World Series.

Jackson is number 1 in strikeouts all time with 2,597. Jim Thome came close with 2,548 before he retired. Thome when he retired was still playing above replacement level according to WAR but was 41 when he retired. Adam Dunn struck out 2,379 times in 14 years. He stopped hitting and that was the strong part of his game, so he retired.

If Reggie’s record is broken it won’t be soon. There are 3 current players in the top 25 in career strikeouts. Chris Davis is number 15 with 1,851. However, he is playing on borrowed time. Davis had a terrible season in 2018 and had a better but still below replacement level season in 2019. His plate appearances have gone down, and he still isn’t hitting. I don’t see him lasting long enough to break the record. Justin Upton is just 32 in his 14th season. He had 1,829 career strikeouts. Upton was a solid fielder as well as a hitter, but the last two years he has been below average in both. However, this is a shortened season and he might be having trouble with his knee still. He ended his 2019 season due to the injury and might have trouble coming back in the shortened season with it. He could come back, as he is only 32 so he would have an outside chance to catch Jackson. The third is Miguel Cabrera. I have him as the sixth best first baseman. He has 1,794 career strikeouts. I don’t see him breaking Reggie’s strikeout record. First, he is 37. Second, he doesn’t really strike out that much. He hasn’t struck out 130 times in a season since his second year (his first full season). He was only 21 then. He has a lot of strikeouts because he has played a long time. He hasn’t had a good season since 2016 when he was 33. He won’t break Jackson’s record.

Reggie like Catfish Hunter played for the Oakland As and the New York Yankees in their 1970 dynasties. He was also with two California Angel Division Winners, both suffering heartbreaking losses. Reggie was also involved in the news all the time. He would be one of the best players to read their biography. His fame started in 1969 when he was on pace to break Maris’s record for a bit. Which was amazing considering his home park was the Oakland Coliseum, a pitcher’s park. Reggie besides being a great player put himself in the news. Heck, he had a candy bar named after him. However, he played for winners and he was a key reason why they won. In his 21-season career he was in the post season 11 times. His team won the World Series 5 times. Reggie in 27 World Series games hit 10 home runs and had 24 RBIs. The man was a great player.

 

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Author: Douglas Byzewski

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