The New York Yankees have probably the richest history of any pro sports franchise. And a roster of alumns that does double duty in Cooperstown. From the likes of the Babe and Gehrig, to Whitey Ford and Yogi and Joe D ,to the Mick and the Scooter, to Craig Nettles and Thurman and Catfish, to Goose Gossage and "Lousianna Lightning".
And Reggie. Reggie Jackson.
But apparently, while fans will hold the likes of Yogi and the Babe, et al, dear to their hearts; Reggie is but a distant memory. The championship he brought the city, long forgotten. The memory of his majestic three home run barrage against the Dodgers evoking nothing but a quizzical, "huh?".
Recently, Reggie came back to visit the city that he helped revive after over a decade of baseball mediocrity. And his reception was less than enthusiastic.
The Bronx Bombers' former slugger was in town last week, and guests at the Regency were shocked to see him having an argument with the reception staff over rates. "He was upset about not getting 'the Yankee rate,' " our witness said. Jackson bitterly complained, but the hotel staff held firm and apparently didn't give him the discount.
That's right folks. Mr. October can't get the Yankee discount.
One wonders if his Yankee great predecessors (like Yogi, Scooter, Joe D, Whitey, etc...) ever suffered such indignities. We have never seen reports indicating that they were denied preferential Yankee treatment, so we can only assume that they have never been treated this way.
As the first true Negro superstar of the Yankees, Jackson always engaged in a love/hate relationship with the fans. As would be expected, hit home runs and they love you. Go through the unavoidable droughts that accompany the game, and they hate you. The same story every Negro athlete can tell.
Certainly, there is little doubt here:
Whitey would never be denied the Yankee discount.
(Ed. A few of our knowledgeable readers emailed us asking why we didn't mention Elston Howard as a Negro Yankee superstar. Ask people to list Yankee greats. Most, save for those intimate with the game, don't mention Howard. While he was a great, for some reason, he hasn't gone down as legendary. Thanks for the emails, tho.)