I just finished watching the “Making of Mr. October” on the MLB Network. I picked up the phone and I called Reggie Jackson because I was curious about what he thought of the documentary. Reggie told me that he actually thought it was done very well and brought back a lot of memories and I have to agree with him. For me it was the best of Reggie documentaries that I have seen.
The only thing that bothered me was the fact that they never say Thurman Munson was the person that gave him the nickname “Mr. October.”
November 1st of 1976, Reggie Jackson signed a five-year contract with the New York Yankees. Reggie along with Thurman Munson and the “Bronx Zoo” era Yankees would go on to four AL East titles, three American League pennants, and two World Series championships in Reggie’s five years in the Bronx.
Even though Billy Martin wanted Joe Rudi, it was the urging of Munson that eventually had “The Boss” George Steinbrenner chase the flamboyant superstar all over the place until he got an agreement done on a napkin.
I remember giving “The Boss” a Sports Illustrated cover that Reggie was on. It was titled, “Super Duper Star.” Mr. Steinbrenner’s eyes really lit up. For those five years, Reggie’s impact on New York was immeasurable.
He truly was the Michael Jordan of that era. I used to say that Michael was the Reggie of his era. Anyway you put it, Reggie was dollar for dollar the best free agent signing the Yankees made even forty years later.
Was he the straw that stirred the drink? Yes he was, but so was Thurman and the rest of the Bronx Bombers of that era. On a personal note, I will always consider Reggie Jackson a great friend and a big brother because like “The Boss,” Billy and Thurman, he always looked out for me and his honesty as a friend helped me grow up.
The thing that I admired most about Reggie was weather it was a Muhammad Ali, John Lennon or Julius Irving, Mr October always appreciated the greatness of others.
Oh and by the way, I can proudly say Thurman Munson and Reggie ended up being very good friends.
Ray Negron can be heard on Impact every Sunday from 11am-1pm on ESPN Deportes 1050am and on Newsmax.