“Reggie” is a documentary in which Reggie Jackson himself tells his story in front of the camera, saying he feels it’s the right time to tell his story of how he became the legend that he is now. Reggie Jackson is one of the baseball superstars who was black, fought for the rights of dignity, and wanted to become part of the organization that runs the game of baseball. In the film, Jackson talks about his triumphs and successes, and we get to see most of his successful games where he hit home runs, including the one from Tiger Stadium’s roof in 1971. The story is about how Reggie Jackson struggled with his teammates, managers, and fans but still powered through. The film starts with how Jackson said yes to the documentary because he felt it was high time his story came forward. Jackson showcased his collection of fancy cars and relived the story with his baseball buddies. The film is a biopic in its nature and self-explanatory, but still, the way it is shown, we get hooked on the story of Reggie Jackson, Mr. October.
The film starts with how racism works in America and how Jackson struggled with it in his early days. During his game in Birmingham, Alabama, his team mates Rollie Fingers and Joe Rudy brought his food into his hotel room, as the outside was not safe for black people. The film then progresses toward how young Jackson’s ideology was shaped by the speech given by Jackie Robinson about having black representation in the baseball management and an increase in the number of players. The film focuses on the intensity of racism during the 1960s and 1970s in America; when Martin Luther King Jr. was killed, Muhammed Ali was stripped of his title, and the country went into riots because of the discrimination that the black people of America had to face in their everyday life. In such a turbulent time, the speech of Jackie Robinson made a great impact on young Reggie’s life and ideology. After winning three World Series with the Oakland A’s, Reggie was approached by the New York Yankees, and he signed a contract with them. Throughout the film, director Alexandria Stapleton provides us with a journey through Jackson’s career, his relationship with Yankees manager Billy Martin, Yankees catcher Thurman Munson, and owner George Steinbrenner. George Steinbrenner was the one who had signed Jackson up for the New York Yankees and had put his faith in him even though his career was filled with controversies and struggles due to the tiff between him and Billy Martin. Fights broke out between Billy Martin and Reggie Jackson, and there was a clear tiff between the two as Martin had tried to bench Jackson for the most part. But the story of Reggie Jackson goes beyond his baseball career to a distant past. Throughout, we see an unfiltered, honest Reggie who had always liked to speak the truth since the beginning of his career and got caught in between a lot of controversies. In a few years, even though he was physically fit to play, he mentally got tired and hence retired in 1987. But before he tired in 1987, he had hit four home runs on four consecutive pitches as a Yankee. George Steinbrenner regretted letting Jackson retire and had spoken about this on record, and Reggie Jackson joined the New York Yankees as a manager after his retirement as he loved the Yankees the most. Jackson goes on record and says in the film that many baseball players would love to be with the New York Yankees, and he did not mean to disrespect any other teams, but that is how he felt. During his primetime, after hitting five home runs, he got lots of endorsements, and chocolate bars were named after him, Reggie.
Why Did Jackson Leave The New York Yankees? How Was He Treated Over There?
But Jackson remained dissatisfied even after joining the New York Yankees as a manager, as he did not get to choose a perfect team for himself. His core complaint goes all the way back to Robinson’s speech about black representation in baseball management and infrastructure, and the reason behind this, he feels, is racism. He has been unabashedly honest about the lack of black representatives in the management of the Yankees in New York. In the end he left the Yankees to join the Astros as an advisor, where he felt heard. In the Yankees, he felt his content went unheard, and people did not pay much attention to it; he always felt like an outsider, and his opinions were kept outside the main door. In Astors, he felt he could bring about the change in the management and focus on the dream that he had, one which Mr. Robinson had spoken about it.
What Was The Personal Life Of Reggie Jackson? Why Did He Agree To The Documentary?
Reggie Jackson’s life had been fairly guarded against media scrutiny. His life had been full of controversies, but all were related to baseball, and nothing was personal. In the end, we get to see a daughter from an early marriage, but that’s about it. From this, we can understand that Reggie is not just another biopic with details of his personal life and everything, but Jackson is here, in front of the camera, completely for his own reason. To tell a story from his side that is unknown to the people and completely on his terms. His motive was to tell his story to the people just the way it was.