Oakland has a place in his heart, Jackson says

Updated: May 24, 2004, 4:00 PM ET
Associated Press

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Reggie Jackson's number was retired by the Oakland Athletics in a brief ceremony Saturday before their game against the Kansas City Royals.

Jackson's No. 9 is the third number to be retired by the team, joining Catfish Hunter's No. 27 and Rollie Fingers' No. 34.

With Jackson seated behind the podium at home plate, his brother, Joe, and daughter, Kimberly, unveiled an image of his jersey on the right-field fence.

"Oakland will always have a place in my heart," said Jackson, who still owns a home in the area. "I was raised here and I was developed here."

The New York Yankees retired Jackson's No. 44 in 1993, the same year he was elected to the Hall of Fame.

He becomes one of eight players to have his number retired by two or more teams, including Fingers, also honored by the Milwaukee Brewers.

Jackson played for the A's from 1967-75 and 1987, helping them win three straight World Series titles from '72-74. He hit 268 of his 563 career homers with Oakland.

"My heart tugs every time I am here," said Jackson, now a special adviser with the Yankees. "I wish I had the job here that I have in New York, but it was never offered. I need the game of baseball and I'm not ashamed to say that."

Jackson was joined by former teammates Billy North, Bert Campaneris, Dick Green, Ray Fosse, Vida Blue, Joe Rudi, Blue Moon Odom, Claudell Washington, Dave Stewart, Mike Norris and former manager Dick Williams.

In conjunction with the ceremonies, Jackson's Mr. October Foundation announced a $175,000 donation to the Oakland school system.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press