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IN PRAISE OF REGGIE JACKSON


I know what you're thinking. That of all people, Reggie Jackson is the least likely in need of praise; his ego must be all consuming. I used to think that too.

Years ago, back in Reggie's Yankee playing days, my brother (lost way too soon to cancer) was a sportswriter in Texas. He had a daily article and a column as well, and even though football is king in the Lone Star State, Brian got to cover spring training one year when he was just starting out.

Afterward, he told me he got to meet Reggie. "He must have been an arrogant jerk," I commented. My brother told me I couldn't be more wrong. That Reggie was one of the nicest players he met. When he approached Reggie for a quote and after the introductions Reggie learned he was just starting out, Reggie invited Brian to sit with him in the outfield grass. They spent 45 minutes together, and my brother got a lot of material for future columns.

I'm not blessed with an abundance of major league talent, but if I were ever to develop Hall of Fame ability, I hope I would always take the time to spend a few minutes with a newbie sportswriter just trying to earn his keep in a cutthroat business. So Reginald Martinez Jackson, wherever you are, a tip of the hat, from Brian and me.


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