Sunday, May 22, 2011

First Photo of Reggie Jackson in an Orioles Uniform?

With the large number of newswire photos that have surfaced through various archives such as from The Baltimore Sun and Chicago Tribune being sold on ebay, there has been the opportunity to see a number of "new" photos (or at least photos that haven't been seen since the picture appeared in a newspaper many years ago). Recently, a few photos of Reggie Jackson's short time with the Orioles have appeared, including what may be the first picture of Reggie in an Orioles uniform:

According to the information on the back of the photo, this picture was taken May 1, 1976 at the Johns Hopkins University Gym:

Why do I think that this might be Reggie's first picture as an Oriole? According to this news item, it wasn't until Friday, April 30 that Reggie agreed to play for the Orioles after having been traded 4 weeks earlier:

If Reggie agreed on April 30, May 1 would have been the very next day. The article says Reggie was scheduled to join the team that evening, but so far, no photos have surfaced of Reggie from that evening. Reggie did not appear in the game, so its not certain whether or not he suited up for the game.

So why was Reggie working out at Johns Hopkins instead of Memorial Stadium? It was due to a rain out on Saturday, May 1. Due to the rainout, the Orioles played a double header the next day against Reggie's former team the A's, and Reggie did not play in the opener, but did play in the second game.

Until a photo surfaces of Reggie in an O's uniform on April 30, I would have to say that the picture of him taking batting practice the day after he joined the team is the first picture of Reggie as an Oriole.

In addition to the picture above, two other photos of Reggie as an Oriole have also surfaced. This is a shot of Reggie looking over Lee May who has been hit in the head by a pitch against Kansas City:

and here is a shot of Reggie in his final month as an Oriole signing autographs:

Its interesting to note that The Baltimore Sun had this filed under "fans" instead of Reggie. The looks in the two kids' eyes are priceless.

The thing that stands out to me in the picture is the kid with the Orioles cap has the alternate orange panel and black brim cap that I had always wanted but was never able to find. The sporting goods stores around us only carried the standard white panel orange brim cap. A few kids I had known had gotten the alternate cap, but I was never able to locate one.

To me, that cap is one of those childhood items you wished you could have had, but never did.

For additional pictures of Reggie on the Orioles, please see my earlier post where I have tried to collect all available photos from Reggie's 1976 season.


Scott Crawford said...

I love that you're a fellow member of The Cult Of Oriole Reggie, and that more and more evidence of him having been an Oriole keeps surfacing. These posts are awesome.

I got the SI Oriole Reggie cover issue back in April, so my collection of this stuff is expanding, too.

I think you probably need that orange panel hat as an adult, though. It's never too late to do something you wanted to do as a kid.

Fleerfan said...

Scott - I'm glad to see there is another fan interested in Reggie's short time with the O's.

The SI cover is one of my favorites, and came out right about the time I started following the Orioles. I think that is why that even though I was upset when Reggie left, I am still nostalgic for that time when I was just starting to follow baseball and the Orioles had one of the biggest superstars in the game.

I've kept an eye out for replicas of the 1975 - 1976 alternate cap, but the ones I've seen don't use the correct smiling bird. They use the late '70s - early 80's bird which has a slightly different look.

Charles said...

Now you've made me hungry for a Reggie Bar. I hadn't realized the candy bar sort of has a Baltimore origin: In 1976, while playing in Baltimore, Jackson had said, "If I played in New York, they'd name a candy bar after me."

Some enterprising person should Photoshop a Reggie Bar with an Oriole uniform - the wrapper is already orange!

JAinMD said...

I was at the May 2nd doubleheader, and still recall the pregame buzz. Reggie was pretty scarce, but got the rockstar reaction when he showed up on the field. My recollection is that the O's wore orange jerseys for one of the two games, but not sure which one. 1976 was a great baseball year for me- Reggie was an Oriole and my friends and I atended about 25 games that year even though we had to take two buses.