There are only two people on Earth other than Pablo Sandoval who know what he felt like Wednesday night when he hit three home runs in Game 1 of the World Series. One of them is Albert Pujols and the other is Reggie Jackson, who says Sandoval’s three-homer World Series game was the most impressive since it was done by Babe Ruth. Jackson, in this entertaining interview, also calls Sandoval a lovable, chubby guy who people wouldn’t like as much if he wore his jersey correctly.
Reggie Jackson joined 95.7 The Game in San Francisco with The Wheelhouse to discuss his knock on Pablo Sandoval, Sandoval’s three-homer game to open the World Series, his three-homer effort, why some players come through on the big stage, and whose three-homer World Series game is the most impressive.
On his one knock on Pablo Sandoval:
“I’ve got one knock on this guy. How could he possibly have a caught stealing? What was he doing? Was he at a grocery store? He should have zeroes in that line. He got caught stealing five times one year. He should be chained down at first base.”
On Sandoval’s big effort in Game 1 of the World Series:
“How about the night he had [Wednesday] night? You know something? I enjoy those nights. I would rather have done it again myself, but I really enjoy watching a guy like that. He hit a home run over there in St. Louis, and by the time he got done swinging and got to first base, the right side of his shirt was hanging out of his pants. … He seems like just a lovable, chubby guy. I mean that in a complimentary, lovable way, but he just seems like a guy that everybody loves. I think if he wore his uniform correctly — like if he could tuck his shirt in and it could stay in — we wouldn’t love him as much.”
What were you thinking when he came up for his fourth at-bat?:
“I was hoping he would hit one off the wall and almost be a homer but not go out. I could lie and say, ‘Oh, I wanted him to hit another one,’ and lie, and God would know I was lying. But, like, I’m being honest. I’m glad he hit the three because … then I get a little news, get a little play on TV. … So thanks, dude, I appreciate the pub.”
But you still have power over him, right, because you hit your three on just three pitches?:
“Well, I guess if you want to get technical about it. But I give the guy credit for hitting three home runs in a World Series against arguably the best pitcher in baseball right now in Justin Verlander. Really, am I surprised? No, not the way he’s been swinging the bat the last 10 days. He’s raking, dude.”
Why is it that certain players just have a knack for stepping up on the big stage?:
“I think that, when a player like Sandoval performs the way he did [Wednesday] night, I think what happens is they’re able to narrow their focus and put it right into the game at hand as to what’s going on, and get rid of all the clutter. … It’s an opportunity to succeed. It’s a privilege to be there in that situation on a team that has performed exceptionally well. … So you’re able to focus with all the good vibes that are around you and not let the clutter get you down. At the same time, it’s the focusability that Pablo has to recognize that this is an opportunity to succeed and have fun and not worry, ‘Oh my gosh. What happens if I fail?’”
After you had your three-homer game in the World Series, did you do anything to research the one that Babe Ruth had?:
“I thank you for asking me if I did that. But Google, back then, Snickers bars and Hersheys and Corn Flakes were around. … But there wasn’t any Google or any Internet. … We even had the Encyclopedia.”
Whose three-homer game is the most impressive?:
“I would say Ruth is at the top because he had two. I have a significant appreciation for Pablo’s. This is a team that came in as an underdog against the best pitcher in baseball. I think I got to enjoy his three home runs more than I did Pujols’ last year. That was a game that was 15-1, although Albert Pujols is one of the great players of the era — probably the best player of the era in the last 15 years. … I have great appreciation for the moment [Wednesday] night.”