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WORLD SERIES

Jackson: Bonds Among Elite

October 28, 2002|--Jason Reid

Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson, a student of baseball history, has come to this conclusion: Barry Bonds is better than he thought anyone could be.

"I haven't seen anybody do what Bonds has done for the last two years," Jackson said before Game 7 Sunday. "This guy, for me, has been the most dominant offensive force in 35 years of watching big league baseball. I mean, 198 base on balls and 403 at-bats. It's unbelievable to be able to maintain your stroke because you get frustrated.

"If you don't get a chance to swing the golf club, you can't keep your swing. If you don't get a chance to shoot the basketball, you can't keep your stroke. This guy doesn't get a chance to play sometimes, but he doesn't get frustrated. He has tremendous management of his mental state."

Jackson was a member of five World Series champions with the Oakland Athletics and New York Yankees, building his reputation in showstopping October games. Does Bonds, despite all his accomplishments, need a World Series title to solidify his position among the game's legends?

"The media has made it that way," Jackson said. "They'll ding [Charles] Barkley, they'll ding some of the great players. They'll ding Ernie Banks, but Ernie Banks is probably recognized as the greatest shortstop, even though he never won a title.

"The media can play into it, as far as whether they like or don't like a guy. That does affect what his image is, no doubt about it. If your last name is not Bonds, he's probably not too concerned about saying hi to you. But love or hate him, you can't ignore him."

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