Card-by-Yankees Card: The 1977 Topps Set, Card #10 (Article 3)
It didn’t take us very long to get to the card of the biggest superstar of them all in this time period – Reggie Jackson.
The story of Reggie Jackson has been told time and time and time again. Reggie came to the Yankees, he called himself the “straw that stirs the drink,” he insulted Thurman Munson, he subsequently battled with his teammates and his manager Billy Martin. Because of Reggie, or maybe more accurately, because of Reggie and Billy Martin and George Steinbrenner, the Yankees because a team mired in controversy and turmoil. It was a team of big personalities, maybe none bigger than Reggie, but somehow, through it all, they won.
In 1977, Reggie hit .286/32/100, but much of those numbers were accrued in the last weeks of the season. Reggie came alive when it mattered most. In September and October (regular season), Reggie hit .304/10/29 as he helped carry the Yankees to the division crown. In the playoffs against Kansas City, Reggie was actually benched for the big Game Five championship game, but he came off the bench and delivered a clutch RBI single to help lead the Yankees to victory. We all know what happened in the 1977 World Series. In Game Six, Reggie hit home runs on the first pitch from three different pitchers and carried the Yankees to their first World Championship since 1962.
Reggie and the Yankees won it all again in 1978 in what might have been an even crazier year.
Reggie had his finest season as a Yankee in 1980 when he hit .300/41/111, the only season he ever hit .300. The 1980 Yankees were a fun team, managed all season by Dick Howser, a man who brought calm and tranquility to the squad. The Yankees won 103 games that year, but lost to the Kansas City Royals in the ALCS – a lost that cost Howser his job.
Reggie and the Yankees then lost to the LA Dodgers in the 1981 World Series after the players’ strike and then he was gone – off to the California Angels and then the Oakland A’s to finish his career. In his career, Reggie hit 563 homers. 144 of those blasts came as a Yankee.