… And the rest, they say, is history. Did you know: In 1965, Reggie Jackson came to Arizona State on a football scholarship.
Frank Kush recruited Reggie to play defensive back, and as legend has it, he tried out for ASU Baseball Coach Bobby Winkles because of a $5 bet.
Coach Winkles agreed to give the young athlete a shot, and while he was still dressed in some of his football gear, Reggie hit a homer on the first pitch of the try out.
He never played for Coach Kush again.
Reggie’s 15 home runs in 1966 is ASU’s single season record for the Wood Bat Era (the NCAA moved to aluminum bats in 1975). It was his only season playing in the maroon and gold before becoming the 2nd over-all 1966 MLB Draft pick by the Kansas City Athletics (the A’s moved to Oakland after the ’67 season).
Before Reggie Jackson was an All Star and the American League Most Valuable Player, before he was a World Series champion and the famed “Mr. October,” before he was a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame, Reggie Jackson was an Arizona State Sun Devil.
PHOTO: In the 4th inning of the 1977 World Series, New York Yankees’ Reggie Jackson hit the first of three home runs off of Los Angeles Dodger Burt Hooton at Yankees Stadium.
Jackson became the only player to hit five home runs in a single World Series and only the second to belt three homers in one game. (The other was Babe Ruth, who did it twice.)