Sports Illustrated’s annual “Where Are They Now?” issue includes a feature story about Reggie Jackson, and this may shock you, but Jackson included some of his controversial opinions in his interview with writer Phil Taylor. The issue hits newsstands this week, and Sports Illustrated passed along some of the comments from Mr. October.
Jackson’s stance on undeserving members of the Hall of Fame, an issue he plans to bring up at the next members-only dinner in Cooperstown:
“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.”
On whether Bert Blyleven should have been elected into the Hall of Fame:
“No. No, no, no, no. Blyleven wasn’t even the dominant pitcher of his era, it was Jack Morris.”
On being passed on the all-time home run list by players linked to performance-enhancing drugs:
“I don’t think the fans really count them, and I agree. I believe that Hank Aaron is the home run king, not Barry Bonds, as great a player as Bonds was.”
On Alex Rodriguez:
“Al’s a very good friend. But I think there are real questions about his numbers. As much as I like him, what he admitted about his usage does cloud some of his records.”
Jackson’s view on whether players linked to performance-enhancing drugs should be inducted into the Hall of Fame:
“If any of those guys get in, no Hall of Famer will attend.”
On Andy Pettitte’s possible election to the Hall of Fame:
“The question is going to be a guy like Andy Pettitte, who admitted that he got involved for a while, but who is so universally respected in the game. I think he’ll get in, but there will be a lot of [members] who won’t go.”
Would Jackson attend?
“He’s an awfully good friend. I’ve known Andy since he was 20. I’ll leave it there.”