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On This Day in Yankee History: 1976

November 29, 2009

The Yankees signed free agent outfielder Reggie Jackson to a 5-year, $2.96 million contract. The number 9 he had worn in Oakland and Baltimore was already being used by Graig Nettles so he requested #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson, but Art Howler, the recently hired pitching coach had already taken the number. Jackson finally settled on #44 in honor of the recently retired Hank Aaron. Jackson arrived amid controversy when he was quoted as saying he was “the straw that stirs the drink” during a conversation with SPORT magazine writer Robert Ward during spring training, implying that he was now the most integral part of the Yankees. It was hard to argue with that statement when in the last game of the 1977 season Jackson homered on three consecutive pitches to seal a World Series clinching victory in Game 6 vs. the Dodgers. Jackson’s #44 was retired by the Yankees in 1993, the same year he was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Reggie Jackson’s Yankee Statistics 1977-1981:

380 R | 661 H | 115 2B | 14 3B | 144 HR | 461 RBI | 41 SB | 326 BB | .281 BA | .371 OBP | .526 SLG

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