Reggie Jackson Quotes

  1. I don’t mind getting beaten, but I hate to lose.
  2. If I played today, I’d stay in trouble. I’d be in the commissioner’s office all the time, I guess. I’d be everywhere – including where I wasn’t supposed to be.
  3. When you’ve played this game for ten years and gone to bat seven-thousand times and gotten two-thousand hits do you know what that really means? It means you’ve gone zero for five-thousand.
  4. The only difference between me and those other great Yankees is my skin color.
  5. Billy Martin was a human tragedy, in the real sense of the words.
  6. I’m human and I’ve played my butt off for ten years. I’m not a loafer, I’m not a jerk, I’m a baseball player.
  7. There is no question that in the ’50s and ’60s, black players got thrown at more. That’s not a negative comment. It may come out that way, but that’s the way it was. Hitting another player was part of the game; hitting a player in the head is not.
  8. Misconception Number 1, the public always thought, ‘Reggie has a massive ego; he’s narcissistic, he’s cocky, he needs everyone to look at him all the time,’ because that’s what the media told them. Wrong. I could handle the attention. I didn’t let the attention affect my performance. But I never needed the attention.
  9. I’d like to be able to light the fire a little bit.
  10. Lee May’s about the same age as me; he’s got about the same stats. So how come he’s making about one-eighty, two hundred thousand, and I’m the best damn paid player in the game? I’ll tell you why: Because I put the meat in the seats!
  11. October, that’s when they pay off for playing ball.
  12. When I went to home plate in a game-tied situation or with a chance to do something and help the ballclub win one, I’d try to make eye contact with the pitcher.
  13. The pitcher has the ball, and nothing happens until he lets go of it. So as the batter, I felt I had to fight for any bit of control I could get. I expected the umpire, the catcher, and the pitcher to wait on me. I wanted to get ready on my time.
  14. I’m a businessman. I bring my bat and glove and attache case to the office and go to work. I don’t give a damn if the other workers at the office like me or not.
  15. Ken Holtzman could pitch a game in ninety minutes. Wouldn’t throw a breaking ball. And he had a great breaking ball.
  16. The greatest manager has a knack for making ballplayers think they are better than they think they are.
  17. Nature is extremely important to me. Which may be just about the only trouble I’ll have in New York. I’ll miss the trees!
  18. Everybody’s got a Reggie story.
  19. Fans don’t boo nobodies.
  20. If I played in New York, they’d name a candy bar after me.
  21. There are at least three kinds of advantages that the pitcher and batter contest. There’s the physical advantage, the strategic advantage, and also the psychological advantage. I didn’t want two out of three. I wanted them all.
  22. The only reason I don’t like playing in the World Series is I can’t watch myself play.
  23. When I was with the Yankees in 1978, we were playing Baltimore at Yankee Stadium, and the score was 3 – 3 going into the bottom of the ninth inning. I led off against Tippy Martinez – a little left-hander who always gave me trouble – and the count went to three-and-oh.
  24. You know, this game’s not very much fun when you’re only hitting .247.
  25. Being a superstar… can make life very difficult, difficult to grow. So I like to visit with my friends, listen to some fine music, drink some good wine, perhaps take a ride in the country in a fine car, or… just walk along the beach.
  26. I probably hit 35 balls into the right-field bleachers.
  27. 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.
  28. I am not merely a baseball player. I am a black man who has done what he wants, gotten what he wanted, and will continue to get it.
  29. In the building I live in on Park Avenue there are ten people who could buy the Yankees, but none of them could hit the ball out of Yankee Stadium.
  30. The will to win is worthless if you don’t get paid for it.
  31. Ali helped raise black people in this country out of mental slavery. The entire experience of being black changed for millions of people because of Ali.
  32. After Jackie Robinson the most important black in baseball history is Reggie Jackson, I really mean that.
  33. I’m tired of hearing people say ‘Reggie Jackson needs New York, needs the media, needs the attention.’ I’ve always gotten it whenever I wanted it.
  34. I was reminded that when we lose and I strike out, a billion people in China don’t care.
  35. I am the best in baseball.
  36. A baseball swing is a very finely tuned instrument. It is repetition, and more repetition, then a little more after that.
  37. This is what happens when you get old and have a couple of bucks. You go back and try to be young again.
  38. When I hit, I felt I was in control of the home-plate area, and it was important that I felt that way. If I let the pitcher control it, it would give him an advantage.
  39. I couldn’t accept the racial epithets in reference to players like Elliott Maddox or Billy Sample.
  40. The only way I’m going to win a Gold Glove is with a can of spray paint.
  41. When I stepped into the box, I felt the at-bat belonged to me. Everybody else was there for my convenience. The pitcher was there to throw me a ball to hit. The catcher was there to throw it back to him if he didn’t give me what I wanted the first time. And the umpire was lucky that he was close enough to watch.
  42. I never had an understanding of Billy Martin. I did not accept the way he managed me. I did not accept the way he managed Ken Holtzman. I thought there was anti-Semitism there.
  43. You can play football and be the next Jim Brown or play baseball and be the next Reggie Jackson.
  44. I do everything as honestly as I can. I give all I have to give. But I don’t let people get in my way.
  45. If you can’t see the rotation and tell if it’s a sink – a fastball, then you have to be able to tell whether that fastball is a two-seamer or a four-seamer. You have to be able to recognize if it’s a slider or a curveball. You have to be able to recognize if it’s a changeup or a split-finger.
  46. The mini-series ‘The Bronx is Burning’ thoroughly embarrassed me the way the story was told.
  47. When people push back on you and don’t think you can do it, and you struggle a little bit and wonder if they’re right, it drives you to be successful and to be a great player.
  48. I represent both the underdog and the overdog in our society.
  49. I didn’t come to New York to be a star, I brought my star with me.
  50. Do you have any idea what Ali meant to black people? He was the leader of a nation, the leader of Black America. As a young black, at times I was ashamed of my color; I was ashamed of my hair. And Ali made me proud.
  51. Hitting is better than sex.
  52. There’s a certain time that when somebody asks you a question, you answer them. I don’t think I said anything with venom. If you can express yourself without anger and make it as palatable as you can, that’s what you do.
  53. Everybody in the league knew I had trouble with the inside pitch. I got away with it only because the great majority of pitchers were afraid of making a mistake in that spot. The threat of power is one of the best weapons you have in the batter’s box.
  54. I know I never saw Casey Stengel when I was being scouted. And how could you be in a ballpark and not know if Casey Stengel was there?
  55. When you take a pitch and line it somewhere, it’s like you’ve thought of something and put it there with beautiful clarity.
  56. I’ve always been able to hear and read what I say before I say it. That’s why I’m a good quote. Or a good interview. If I say something that’s uncomfortable for someone’s ears, it’s going to be the truth; I just happen to voice it. But it’s the truth. It’s not my opinion.
  57. No. No, no, no, no, Blyleven wasn’t even the dominant pitcher of his era – it was Jack Morris.
  58. When you hit a player in the head, you’re more apt to get some fisticuffs or, you know, bring both teams out on the field, but it was more accepted that – in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s. I think nowadays it’s a little over-policed because I will always believe that knocking a hitter down, even hitting a hitter at, sometimes, is part of baseball.
  59. Please God, let me hit one. I’ll tell everybody you did it.
  60. I work for ABC television; I have my own syndicated TV series. I’ve been on the cover of ‘Time Magazine’ and on the cover of ‘Sports Illustrated’ five times.
  61. I didn’t see Kirby Puckett as a Hall of Famer. I didn’t see Gary Carter as a Hall of Famer. I didn’t see Don Sutton as a Hall of Famer. I didn’t see Phil Niekro as a Hall of Famer. As much as I like Jim Rice, I’m not so sure he’s a Hall of Famer.
  62. I know how hard it is to shoot the basketball, so I’ve got great appreciation for it.
  63. Babe Ruth was great. I’m just lucky.
  64. 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.

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