I spent the 2000 season broadcasting for the New York Yankees AA affiliate Norwich Navigators. As often was the case, many of the Yankees brass would take the short trip to Norwich, Connecticut to spend some time with the top prospects. One rainy afternoon, Reggie Jackson showed up.
Even though the game was in jeopardy due to the ongoing drizzle, I strolled down to the Navigators clubhouse to grab Reggie for a pre-game interview. We met, shook hands and exchanged a few moments of small talk. He apologized and told me he was on his way to work with some hitters.
“I’ll catch you later,” Mr. October said to me. No problem. I took my recorder and headed back into the team offices to take care of some of my more mundane pre-game duties. The following story was recounted in the next morning’s newspaper.
After working with some of the hitters in the batting cage, Reggie Jackson was hanging around, waiting to see if they were going to play through the inclement weather. As was the norm with a Yankees affiliate (especially one with Drew Henson), the team often played host to national and, occasionally, international media.
A few media members and coaches were milling around near the underground batting cage. One foreign broadcaster was clearly out of place, apparently having never covered baseball before. He looked at Reggie Jackson and said, “I always liked this game of baseball. I was pretty good in…you call it Little League.” Reggie nodded kindly.
He then glanced up and again tried to make small talk with Jackson. Very matter-of-factly, he asked, “How about you? Did you play? Were you any good in Little League?”
Mr. October looked up at the reporter and responded with amazement, “Little League? I was the whole game!”
About an hour later the game was officially called off due to rain. I never did get the interview, as Jackson was long gone by the time I got back down to the clubhouse. I bet he was pretty darn good in Little League, though.