One More Word About Reggie Jackson

4 Nov

The first episode of the new season of Studio 42 on the MLB Network Monday night featured an interview with the great Hall of Fame slugger Reggie Jackson.  The interview was very interesting, but what I found most fascinating of all was the closing segment.  Jackson was very candid about what was important to him.  Here is a transcript of what was said.  It was one of the most incredible interchanges I’ve ever seen in a sports interview.

Bob Costas:  What’s the one thing, if you could show it to somebody 100 years from now, put it in a time capsule, the one thing from your career that stands as absolutely perfect, you wouldn’t change it.  And the one thing about your career, on or off the field, that if you could, you’d change.

Reggie Jackson:  Well certainly the moment as a player that I wouldn’t change would be the three homeruns.  At the same time, Bob, my father was there.  And additionally, in 1993, something I wouldn’t change, is my mother and father were divorced when I was six, and they hadn’t really spent much time together until I went into the Hall of Fame, and I was 47 years old, and they were together And that was a wonderful time.  I was the only player inducted at that time and both my parents were here.  And just it was like the king and the queen of Cooperstown for four or five days.  I would not change that.  I’d change the three homers first.

If I could change something, it probably would be, for my career, if my parents could have shared it together.  It would have made a tremendous impact on me, on them and on my family.  That would have been more important than the Boston incident with Billy Martin, the comments about Thurman Munson . . . but family is more important than the incidents.

Here is a guy, now in his 60’s, who is considered one of the greatest baseball players in major league history, a guy who accomplished more in his career that 99% of the players who have ever played the game.  Yet what he wishes for, more than anything, is for his parents to have been together.  Never underestimate the power of pushing through the hard times to stay together.  Yes, there are times when divorce happens.  There are times when things become so difficult, or abusive or continually sinful, that the relationship is permenantly severed.  And yes, God is often gracious to bring blessing and healing even in very bad situations.  But if you can hold on, make every effort.  Even if your children grow up to accomplish great things, they will probably long, more than anything else, for your family to be whole.  If you’re divorced, I don’t write this to condemn you or increase your pain.  But if you’re not, I encourage you to hold on.  Remember Reggie Jackson.  Call on God and try with all your heart make it work.

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