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Becoming Mr. Octoberby Reggie Jackson
Synopses & Reviews
Yankees vs. Red Sox, September 1977:
“Do you ask Babe Ruth to bunt—or Cookie Lavagetto? Willie McCovey—or Phil Rizzuto?
"But I was learning. Billy Martin said bunt, I was prepared to bunt. Reggie Cleveland threw in on me, though, so I couldn’t get the bat out and had to take it for a ball. I looked back down to Dick Howser—and now the bunt was off. Cleveland threw me a fastball, and I fouled it off.
"I looked back at Howser. The bunt sign was back on. Tell me, does this make any sense at all?
"I got ready to bunt again, but Reggie Cleveland threw another ball in. It was like they were picking up the signs, which maybe they were. It was like they knew I was going to try to lay one down.
"Personally, I thought they were making a mistake. If it was my team and Reggie Jackson wanted to bunt, let him bunt.
"Instead, the count fell in my favor, the bunt was taken off, and Cleveland hung a slider. It was room service. The rest is history.”
REGGIE JACKSON was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1993. He hit 563 home runs and drove in 1,702 runs over the course of his twenty-one-year career. He played three World Series–winning seasons with the Oakland Athletics and two with the New York Yankees. He is a special adviser to the Yankees.
KEVIN BAKER is the prize-winning author of the historical novels Dreamland, Paradise Alley, and Strivers Row; the baseball novel Sometimes You See It Coming; and, most recently, The Big Crowd. He served as chief historical researcher for the nonfiction bestseller The American Century. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, the Los Angeles Times, and Harper’s Magazine, among other publications.
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