This Day in Yankees History, August 11, 1980: Reggie Jackson hits 400th career HR vs Chicago White Sox


Photo Credit: 1980s Baseball


The Yankees’ die-hard fans of all ages have all come to know Mr. Reggie Jackson as the one and only Mr. October.  But, one of his most memorable career accomplishments came during the month of August, three seasons after he earned the name Mr. October in 1977 following hitting three consecutive home runs in that year’s World Series.  It is an accomplishment that many Yankees fans of the time are sure to remember (perhaps with a similar nostalgia to how I remember Derek Jeter’s 3,000th hit game).

During the third inning of play against the Chicago White Sox, Jackson was up at bat against pitcher Britt Burns, when he connected with the ball for career home run #400.  The Yankees would go on to win the game by a score of 3-1.

Over the course of the 1980 season, Jackson would go on to hit a career high 41 home runs.  As such, #400 does not seem as though it was unprecedented or unexpected.  Jackson would also record 111 RBIs, 94 runs, 154 hits and a batting average of .300.  Additionally, he would come in second in voting for the American League MVP.

Burns was not having a career-low season, either; his record at the end of the 1980 season came to 15-13, with a 2.84 ERA.  In fact, as 1980 was his first season in MLB, Burns came in fifth in the voting for American League Rookie of the Year.  So, Burns would not even go down in history as a “bad pitcher” -- he just had the misfortune of pitching Jackson his 400th home run ball, and that’s a large part of how he’s remembered.  Every pitcher gives up home runs.  Not every pitcher gives up milestone home runs -- in Burns’ case, his giving up a milestone home run was simply a case of bad luck.

Jackson would become the fourth player to record home run #400 in a Yankees uniform, along the likes of with Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle and Lou Gehrig. 

Article by: Mary Grace Donaldson

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