[LAST EDITED, APRIL 22, 2013]
Blyleven pitching against Tigers, 1973
-PHOTO: Jackson batting, Game 1 '73 ALCS vs Orioles -
It's what we do. We're all prone, and it's our right, to alter the way we think. That includes the very opinionated and fluctuating Reggie Jackson!
Last year, Reggie was outspoken in a published piece or two about his druthers for including Bert Blyleven and others in the Hall Of Fame.
Blyleven, August, '73 shutout vs Royals
Bill James has said it's useful to go back and factor what was said about players in past decades, the word of their contemporaries, to help in deciding their rank as players. Sensible, yes? So, what changed in 30 years for Reginald (keeping in mind he hit .200-some vs. Bert, career)?
When he put his sizable foot in his mouth - forget about "Killing the Queen" - Mr. October was really "Mr.-Kill-The-Fun"!
Maybe Billy Martin had something there when he said of George Steinbrenner and Reggie: "One's convicted, the other's a born liar." Rough, but when the shoe fits...I guess if Jackson had gone on to have a great career batting line against Blyleven post '73, I would understand his turnabout. But, like so many low-info Hall of Fame voters, my guess is he's going on results - the bare fact that the Curveballer came up short of 300 victories - to judge worthiness. Jackson, of all people, should know pitching wins are dependant upon having your team score more runs than the opposition.
So, I will close thus: the next time one of your baseball friends up and changes his mind over a matter inexplicably, even though past history and facts dictate some other action or response, give them this:
"You pullin' a Reggie on me?
As our old broadcasting buddy Herb Carneal said it:
"So long, everybody!
This article gives some more detail from that game when Reggie got so lucky against Blyleven - if you're so inclined...