If there is one thing that everybody knows about me is that I’m a huge Boston Red Sox fan. Which in turn makes me hate the New York Yankees. I refer to them as the evil empire. It comes with the territory though. So for me to watch a documentary about one of the great players of Yankee Nation is a bit hard. That being said I give every film I review its due diligence and this one based on Reggie Jackson was a film I was glad to have watched. I learned a lot about this Yankee superstar dubbed Mr. October by Thurmon Munson, his Yankee teammate in the late 70s.
Like a lot of documentaries, this one has the typical talking heads but doesn’t do them the way you’d expect. Reggie is in a way the host to some of the other legends of the game and other sports as well. Sure he’s being interviewed and narrated his story to the director. People like Dr. J Julius Irving, baseball great Hank Aaron, and Yankee Legend Derek Jeter, along with some of his teammates from when he played for the Oakland A’s are in the documentary talking about their experiences in baseball and as teammates of Jackson’s. This was an interesting way to do the talking heads in the film.
As always another aspect of documentaries is using archival footage to show the subject or subject depicted in the film. And this one has a lot of archival footage of when Jackson played for the Oakland A in the minors and majors and quite a bit of his time in New York as a Yankee. He was interviewed by the press a lot and these interviews took a lot of quotes from interviews whether they were taken out of context or not. He was a quote machine for the New York press.
Jackson came up in an era that made him speak out at various times in his career. Whether it be for the civil rights movement as in fair pay for black players from racist and or cheap owners or being able to leave Oakland and go to the highest bidder. Based on Kurt Blood’s court case. Which is when George Steinbrenner stepped in and paid him what he deserved as a player of his caliber. In 1977 the Bronx was burning and so was Jackson’s career. He was on fire in New York.
This documentary doesn’t always show the good side of Jackson but what it does do is shed light on some of the difficult times in his storied career which allowed him to be the leader he is today and the representative of the game of baseball deserves. He proved he was and is a leader for the representation and rights of players to this very day. Even as a die-hard Red Sox fan, I can see that he is and was great for the game.
Reggie sheds a light on a man and his career. The good and the bad moments. Despite everything he endured at the hands of owners, managers, press, and teammates he remained a man who stood up for the players, their rights, and the game as a whole. Still to this very day where he is an adviser to the owner of the Houston Astros. The accidental moniker of Mr. October is well deserved and earned by this Yanker legend and that’s hard for me to say as a Red Sox fan.
Dan Skip Allen