Reggie Jackson was enjoying the sweet taste of success heading into the 1974 season, and he wanted to make sure the world was aware. The first sentence of his self-titled diary detailing the A’s run to their third consecutive World Series title boasted: “I am the best in baseball.”
And, well, he was. MVP performances during the ’73 season – a unanimous choice at that – and World Series only further cemented his lofty place among all major leaguers.
For the first two months of the 1974 campaign, “everyone was helpless and in awe” of the incomparable Jackson, who had a line of .399/.470/.759 when the A’s closed up shop on June 2, and was featured in two cover stories – Sports Illustrated and Time Magazine.
Alas, three days later, Reggie wrestled with teammate Bill North in the locker room at Tiger Stadium, injuring his shoulder in the process. Jackson was unable to maintain the torrid pace he enjoyed prior to his tussle with North, and he finished the season with a mortal line of .289/.391/.514.
Fortunately for you, dear reader, today is April 7, not June 5. And on this date in 1974, Reggie was still on a different playing field than the rest of the baseball planet, as he helped the A’s crush Billy Martin’s Rangers 8-4, with a run-scoring single and a pair of three-run homers.