More than a baseball player, the first thing you think of when you see Bo Jackson is a professional athlete, not a major league baseball player. That is the difference with Herb Score and Tony Coniglaro, with whom we have associated him this week when citing those who did not reach the Hall of Fame of the major leagues, despite their undoubted talent. Deep down and in part, for not adding the required minimum of ten seasons of service, which Jackson could not either due to the injuries that affected his career as a baseball player and soccer player.
So what was Jackson, a soccer player or a baseball player? Of course, both. But that duality is what gave that difference that is perhaps the obstacle that prevented him from seeing it on the stage that most interests us. His case is similar to that of Michael Jordan, without going into detail about the basketball player's abilities for baseball. In the end. Jordan could not with the ability that he had for baseball and yes for basketball, but Jackson did have it for football as well as for baseball. There perhaps was his downfall to stand out full-time on one front, as fans imagined he must have, to fully enjoy any of his skills.
Jackson signed to play baseball in 1986 at the age of 24 as an outfielder with the Kansas City Royals, for whom he played until 1990. His statistics were not as remarkable as those of a Willie Mays, especially for simultaneously playing as a footballer as "Inner Running Back" for the Los Angeles Raiders in the National Football League. In his eight seasons in the big leagues, he did not achieve any individual leadership, but when he had the opportunity to show off his physical ingenuity, he did so in spades as he did in the 1989 All-Star Game in Anaheim. He started in left field for the AL, homered and singled and drove in two runs while completing the series' defensive haul. He was chosen "Most Valuable" of the classic won by the American 5 to 3 to the National.
In his eight-year career between 1986 and 1994 with the Royals, White Sox and Angels, Jackson appeared in more than 135 games only four times, topping 1989 in 32 with 105 home runs and 250 RBIs. For life he hit 141 with 415 homers and XNUMX RBIs.
We'll never know where Bo Jackson could have gone, had it not been for injuries. Discomforts that bothered him, both in baseball and football. As happened with Herb Score and Tony Conigliaro at the time. And without making comparisons between the three, authentic major league players.