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Bo knows stardom

Tuesday, October 26, 2004
Bo ran over Bosworth in '87
By Ron Flatter
Special to

Signature Game

Nov. 30, 1987 - A month into his "hobby" as a professional football player, Los Angeles Raider running back Bo Jackson had a ball on his 25th birthday. In one of the most scintillating performance ever on "Monday Night Football," Jackson, who says his main job is as an outfielder for the Kansas City Royals, set a Raiders record by running for 221 yards and scoring three touchdowns in a 37-14 victory over the Seattle Seahawks.

Jackson led off the Raiders' 20-point second quarter by scoring on a 14-yard run when safety Kenny Easley fell down attempting to tackle him. Later in the period, Jackson swerved around left end and set a Raiders record for longest run from scrimmage by racing 91 yards for a touchdown. Unable to stop his 225-pound frame in the end zone, he continued right into the locker room tunnel in the Kingdome.

Bo's third touchdown came in the third quarter when he literally ran over linebacker Brian Bosworth on a two-yard burst on one of his 18 carries.

After Jackson's impressive game, Seahawks wide receiver Steve Largent said, "I think he should stick to baseball."

Jackson's Baseball Career Statistics
Year Tm/L AB Runs Hits HR RBI BA OBP SLG
1986 KC-A 82 9 17 2 9 .207 .286 .329
1987 KC-A 396 46 93 22 53 .235 .297 .455
1988 KC-A 439 63 108 25 68 .246 .288 .472
1989 KC-A 515 86 132 32 105 .256 .312 .495
1990 KC-A 405 74 110 28 78 .272 .346 .523
1991 Chi-A 71 8 16 3 14 .225 .337 .408
1993 Chi-A 284 32 66 16 45 .232 .290 .433
1994 Cal-A 201 23 56 13 43 .279 .347 .507
MLB Totals 2,393 341 598 141 415 .250 .311 .474

Jackson's Football Career by the Numbers
Year Team G Att Yards Avg TDs
1987 LA Raiders 7 81 554 6.8 4
1988 LA Raiders 10 136 580 4.3 3
1989 LA Raiders 11 173 950 5.5 4
1990 LA Raiders 10 125 698 5.6 5
NFL Totals 38 515 2,782 5.4 16

Odds 'n' Ends

  • At McAdory High School in McCalla, Ala., Jackson set six state class records.

  • In Bo's first game for Auburn, the freshman rushed for 123 yards on only 10 carries in a 28-10 victory over Wake Forest in 1982.

  • At tradition-laden Auburn where football is king, Jackson still holds down top spots in several categories, including career rushing, scoring, most 100-yard rushing games and all-purpose yards for a season.

  • He is the only Auburn back to rush for more than 4,000 yards in a career.

  • Bo was timed in 4.12 seconds for 40 yards.

  • Bo said he followed baseball because of Reggie Jackson, whom he used to claim as a cousin.

  • Bo's baseball career at Auburn was ended prematurely, after 21 games in his senior year. He unknowingly violated Southeastern Conference rules and was declared ineligible for accepting a plane ride to Tampa from the Buccaneers, who gave him a physical.

  • Jackson never forgave the Bucs and refused to sign with them after they picked him No. 1 in the 1986 draft.

  • Excerpts from a Royals scouting report on Jackson reveal that from the beginning he was rated better than the major league average in arm strength, baserunning, range, speed and power.

    Jackson hit 141 career homers.

  • Before his assignment to the minors, Bo turned heads in his first turn in the batting cage at Royals Stadium. One drive landed 462 feet away at the base of the scoreboard in centerfield and another almost plunked into the water fountain beyond right. Bo was using a borrowed bat.

  • He made his professional baseball debut as a member of the Royals' Class AA Memphis Chicks on June 30, 1986.

  • Jackson wore No. 16 for the Royals despite wearing No. 34 in football and No. 29 in baseball. He explained the number change by saying "because I want to leave Auburn at Auburn."

  • In 1989, he hit 32 homers and drove in 105 runs for Kansas City. He also led the league with 172 strikeouts in 515 at-bats.

  • Ten days after the 1989 baseball season ended, Jackson joined the Raiders and rushed for 950 yards in only 11 games.

  • After Bo saw the X-ray of his hip injury, he said, "I have dressed deer. I have witnessed the birth of two out of three of my children, and when I saw a black-and-white X-ray of my hip, I just got sick."

  • After his second hip replacement surgery, Jackson decided to save the first artificial hip. "I have it at home in a bag," he said.

  • In 1996, Jackson played a death row prison guard in the film "The Chamber" starring Gene Hackman, Faye Dunaway and Chris O'Donnell.

  • On Dec. 8, 1998 Jackson was inducted into the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame.

  • Jackson enjoys archery and has a collection of bows that number close to two dozen.

  • Though he says he doesn't follow most sports, Jackson is a fan of the WNBA and watches outdoor shows.

  • Jackson splits time between Oak Brook, Ill., a suburb of Chicago, and Phoenix with his wife, Linda, and their three children (sons Garrett and Nicholas and daughter Morgan).

  • In 2004, Green Bay's Ahman Green joined Jackson as the only players with two career touchdown runs of at least 90 yards.

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