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This week marks the 30th anniversary of Bo Jackson’s memorable MLB All-Star Game moment. Let’s look back at it.
The 2019 edition of the MLB All-Star Game takes place this week, creating new moments that will be etched in our memories. But July 11 marks the 30th anniversary of an All-Star Game moment, authored by Bo Jackson, no one who watched with interest will ever forget.
For sports fans of a certain age (raising my hand), Jackson’s peak came in their impressionable youth. A Heisman Trophy winner and a two-sport star, and also a pitch man (“Bo Knows”), he stands as an unrivaled athlete even now.
In 1989 Jackson was coming off a 20-20 season for the Kansas City Royals, and he had played 17 NFL games for the Los Angeles Raiders over the prior two seasons. He earned his first (and what would be his only) career All-Star selection that year, with 21 home runs (tied for the AL lead to that point) helping to earn him a trip to Anaheim for the Midsummer Classic.
Jackson led off the game for the American League All-Stars, against San Francisco Giants pitcher Rick Reuschel. The legendary Vin Scully was on the television call, and President Ronald Reagan joined him in the booth.
As Reagan talks about Jackson’s offseason hobby playing football, he hit a massive home run to dead center on the second pitch of the at-bat.
President Reagan’s reaction was audible, and Scully’s call-“Bo Jackson says hello!” was simply classic.
A severe hip injury during a playoff game for the Raiders in January of 1991 ended Jackson’s football career early, and he was never the same as he tried to hang on as a baseball player for a few years after that.
Among many displays of athleticism and sheer strength he offered over a brief window, Jackson’s mammoth home run in the 1989 MLB All-Star Game stands as one of the most memorable.