COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. -- Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson confirmed that he got into an altercation with a fan outside a Cooperstown restaurant Friday night but denied a report that the encounter turned physical.
The New York Daily News reported that Jackson, in Cooperstown for the Baseball Hall of Fame's induction weekend, was involved in what appeared to be a "heated, physical confrontation" with an autograph seeker. TMZ posted a 17-second video of the encounter Saturday.
Jackson told reporters that he ate dinner with a few friends at a sushi restaurant and was leaving through a back entrance when a group of fans began to gather. He said he was approached by one fan who had already gotten an autograph from him earlier Friday on the golf course.
Jackson said he used profanity and called a halt to the impromptu autograph session. He said he was getting in a car with his friends and leaving the restaurant when a scuffle appeared to break out behind him.
"I was upset because it was kind of an 'over and over' thing," Jackson said Saturday. "It's 10:00 at night -- it's time to go home. Leave us alone. So the words got heated. But as far as anybody touching someone, that did not come from me.
"I was disappointed that the yelling happened, but it's all day, all night sometimes with people. You wish those things don't happen. I've been stern before with people verbally, but you don't touch the public. In today's world, you can't do that."
On Sunday, Jackson took to Twitter to apologize for the language he used.
A sincere apology for my profanity in public to all fans. Certainly not a way to communicate. Mad or not, no excuse.— Reggie Jackson (@mroctober) July 26, 2015
Jackson, 69, hit 563 home runs over 21 major league seasons and was elected to Cooperstown on the first ballot in 1993. He said it's not uncommon to be pursued by overzealous autograph seekers during his midsummer trips to the Hall but added that altercations are rare.
"I was signing autographs here last year at 11:00 at night," Jackson said. "There were about 50 people standing outside a store that was closed. I said, 'No bats, no jerseys. I'll sign one for everyone.' I signed about 20, and one guy came back around for a second time. I said, 'OK, everyone. This guy has screwed it up for everyone. I'm done.' I turned away and that was it.
"Confrontations are very rare. You're here with the Hall of Fame and different groups and friends, so you disparage yourself and your name when it happens. It's something you're aware of and you deal with it. You go about it the best you can."