Last month, former New York Yankee slugger Reggie Jackson created quite a stir. He told Phil Taylor of Sports Illustrated that Yankees star Alex Rodriguez and others weren't worthy of being in the Hall of Fame.
Jackson was quoted as saying that A-Rod, Kirby Puckett, Gary Carter, Don Sutton, Phil Niekro and Bert Blyleven didn't deserve to be in the Hall. He also said he had questions about Jim Rice's candidacy.
What struck me as funny about those comments was that I've always questioned whether Jackson should be a Hall of Famer.
I mean, for the most part, Reggie was a one-dimensional player. He hit home runs.
I believe Jackson got into the Hall on the power of two things: Playing in New York and having one sensational game—the three-home run effort in the World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers on October 14, 1977.
If you look at Jackson's stats, besides his 563 home runs, they are unspectacular. His career average was only .262. Not Hall of Fame worthy. He struck out 2,597 times—more then any other player in history.
He only walked 1,375 times his entire 21-year career—an average of only 65 times a year.
His OPS of .846 only ranks him 189th of all time.
His career slugging percentage of .490 is 133rd of all time and far from spectacular.
Jackson also criticized guys like Barry Bonds in the article—questioning his HOF worthiness—because of Bonds' links to performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs).
The fact is, Bonds had established himself as a first-ballot Hall of Famer prior to his alleged drug use.
Bonds' numbers leave Jackson in the dust, even if you take out the last four or five years of his career. His lifetime average of .298 is 36 points higher. He walked a record 2,558 times. His OPS of 1.051 is over 200 points higher than Reggie.
Reggie couldn't hold Barry's jock strap!
Jackson should feel fortunate he played for the most storied team in all of sports, the largest media market in the world and with a team that was dominant in their time.
Granted, he was very good in the postseason, but in the regular season, if you take away the home runs, Reggie Jackson was a better-than-average player and that was about it.
He wasn't much of a defender for most of his career, couldn't run after the early part of his career and did nothing but hit home runs.
So when I heard Reggie Jackson talk about other greats not being Hall of Fame worthy, I had to speak up.
There's only one Hall of Fame Reggie Jackson belongs in: The one for big egos.
It's obvious the years haven't minimized his one single bit.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!