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In the spring of 1977 Reggie Jackson should have been on top of the world. The best player of the Oakland A's dynasty, which won three straight World Series, he was the first big-money free agent, wooed and flattered by George Steinbrenner into coming to the New York Yankees, which hadn't won a World Series since 1962. But Reggie was about to learn, as he writes in this vivid and surprising memoir, that until his initial experience on the Yankees, "I didn't know what alone meant."
His manager, the mercurial, alcoholic, and pugilistic Billy Martin, never wanted him on the team and let Reggie - and the rest of the team - know it. Most of his new teammates, resentful of his contract, were aloof at best and hostile at worst. Brash and outspoken, but unused to the ferocity of New York's tabloid culture, Reggie hadn't realized how rumor and offhand remarks can turn into screaming negative headlines - especially for a black athlete with a multimillion-dollar contract. Sickened by Martin's anti-Semitism, his rages, and his quite public disparagement of his new star, ostracized by his teammates, and despairing of how he was stereotyped in the press, Reggie had long talks with his father about quitting. Things hit bottom when Martin plotted to humiliate him during a nationally televised game against the Red Sox. It seemed as if a glorious career had been derailed.
But then: Reggie vowed to persevere; his pride, work ethic, and talent would overcome Martin's nearly sociopathic hatred. Gradually, he would win over the fans, then his teammates, as the Yankees surged to the pennant. And one magical autumn evening, he became "Mr. October" in a World Series performance for the ages. He thought his travails were over - until the next season when the insanity began again.
Becoming Mr. October is a revelatory self-portrait of a baseball icon at the height of his public fame and private anguish. Filled with revealing anecdotes about the notorious "Bronx Zoo" Yankees of the late 1970s and bluntly honest portrayals of his teammates and competitors, this is eye-opening baseball history as can be told only by the man who lived it.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Bookman Bruce on 12-10-17
Great anecdotes from Mr. October, Great Background
Would you consider the audio edition of Becoming Mr. October to be better than the print version?
Didn't read the print version.
Did the narration match the pace of the story?
Well, Reggie -- of course! But, in addition, some really great stories about guys like Munson, Nettles, Catfish and how those really great early 70's A's teams came together.
Any additional comments?
REG-GIE - doesn't knock it out of the ballpark, but he drives a few into the gap for a great set of stories. This is read by Reggie himself, which is probably the biggest issue. I love Reggie and he puts in a commendable effort for a guy who isn't a performer, but there are stories that he chops up a bit.
Overall, this is a great set of stories for anyone who loves baseball, the Yankees and Mr. October himself.