Reggie Jackson Should Shut Up; Wally Backman Defends Gary Carter

It must have been frustrating for Reggie Jackson when he questioned the validity of several Hall of Famers, including Gary Carter. I mean, nobody had been talking to him lately and he was out of the limelight.

Several of Carter’s teammates, including Wally Backman, came to his defense.

“Who is he to question?” Backman told the Bergen Record. “At least Gary was a complete player. It’s unbelievable Reggie would criticize a great guy and great player who’s passed away. Show some respect.”


When it comes to respect to others, Jackson has no clue. He’s for himself first, second and to hell with everybody else.

Backman is right in that Carter was a more complete – and team player – than Jackson ever was. Some players tend to rub people the wrong way and what I’ll remember first about Jackson is not the three homers in the World Series game against the Dodgers, but for his derogatory comments about Thurman Munson, him ignoring Billy Martin’s signs and for scuffling with Martin in the dugout at Fenway.

Among his other comments in Sports Illustrated, Jackson said: “I didn’t see Kirby Puckett as a Hall of Famer. I didn’t see Gary Carter as a Hall of Famer. I didn’t see Don Sutton as a Hall of Famer. I didn’t see Phil Niekro as a Hall of Famer. As much as I like Jim Rice,  I’m not so sure he’s a Hall of Famer.”

Honestly, Puckett (3,000 hits), Sutton and Niekro (300 wins) are milestone stats that have meant automatic entry into the Hall of Fame. It’s the same way with 500 homers. Had Jackson hit 450 homers, would he be a Hall of Famer? I’m not so sure.

And, speaking of landmark honors, what about the Yankees’ retiring his number? Take away that World Series game and Jackson’s penchant for beating his own drum, it’s a reach to call him one of the great Yankees worthy of that honor.




6 thoughts on “Reggie Jackson Should Shut Up; Wally Backman Defends Gary Carter

  1. Puckett actually had 2,304 hits. As for Jackson’s opinions of Hall of Famers, did anyone asked him whether Thurman Munson should be in?
    Don Baylor’s book tells a story on how and Jackson went to dinner at a restaurant one night when Jackson was in a foul mood and insulted a lot of people. When they got out, Jackson was furious to find that some creep had keyed his car. When he asked who could do this to him, Baylor replied that between customers and staff, there were about 150 people that Jackson insulted.

    • Dan: I love the Baylor story. Laughed out loud. I am not sure if the interviewer asked about Munson. And, thanks for keeping me on my toes with the Puckett correction. It is appreciated.-JD

  2. Carter was a better player.

    The catcher is in on every play and he helped control the pitching staff. He was also our cleanup hitter and had a good average. He could throw them out and was good defensively. Yes. Reggie had that series but I never heard anyone talk about his D.

    How many years was he a DH where he sat on the bench till it was his time to walk to the plate?

  3. But wait, I thought being a former yankee meant that your opinion was always right!
    Reggie needs to STFU.
    Stay classy Reggie. Then again, younever were classy, despite the legend that all yankees are classy.