I wanted to start off this list with some heavy hitters, and really I may have started with the greatest coach, basketball player, boxer, and MLB’er of all time. So I’d say the initial thesis would have to be that ego can be put to good use.
Here’s some classic Jackson quotes (courtesy of prosportsblogging.com):
“If I was playing in New York, they’d name a candy bar after me.”
Post/During-New York (aka the candy bar era):
“I didn’t come to New York to be a star, I brought my star with me.”
“The only reason I don’t like playing in the World Series is I can’t watch myself play.”
“It all flows from me, I’m the straw that stirs the drink."
[Also, a few more great ones from lucywho.com, courtesy of my editor (the real one, not the one I quote all the time):
“Hitting is better than sex.”
“The greatest manager has a knack for making ballplayers think they are better than they think they are.”
“I have a hard time believing athletes are overpriced. If an owner is losing money, give it up. It`s a business. I have trouble figuring out why owners would stay in if they`re losing money.”
“You don`t face Nolan Ryan without your rest. He`s the only guy I go against that makes me go to bed before midnight.”
“Please God, let me hit one. I`ll tell everybody you did it.”
“Babe Ruth was great. I`m just lucky.”
“The only way I`m going to win a Gold Glove is with a can of spray paint.”
“You know, this game`s not very much fun when you`re only hitting .247.”
“Fans don`t boo nobodies.”
“I was reminded that when we lose and I strike out, a billion people in China don`t care.”
“After Jackie Robinson the most important black in baseball history is Reggie Jackson, I really mean that.”]
As with all on the top of this list, the rule of thumb/addition to the thesis seems to be that if you back it up, we (the fans) will probably still like you.
Not everyone to follow backs it up.