Current Colorado Rockies manager Bud Black talks about his memory of giving up Reggie Jackson’s 500th homer in 1984, but also steering the Kansas City Royals to a big division win over the then-California Angels.
Thursday marked the 36th anniversary of a Major League Baseball milestone. On that September night in Anaheim, Calif., Reggie Jackson became just the 13th player in MLB history to hit 500 home runs when he belted a seventh-inning solo homer to account for the only California run in a 10-1 win by the Royals over the Angels.
The pitcher that night was current Colorado Rockies skipper Bud Black. History will tell you that Jackson reached a milestone that night. It will also tell you that it was just one of three hits surrendered by Black over eight innings as he improved to 16-11 on the season and helped his Royals take another step toward clinching the American League West crown.
On Thursday, before the Rockies squared off against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Coors Field, I asked Black what he remembered about that night in 1984.
"More from Colorado Rockies NewsA Colorado Rockies ThanksgivingColorado Rockies: Charlie Blackmon out for the seasonColorado Rockies: Injuries shift look of roster ahead of Dodgers seriesColorado Rockies: 3 things we appreciated from Tuesday in San FranciscoWhat Bill Schmidt’s comments mean for the Colorado Rockies in 2023“That was a pennant race between the Angels and the Royals. It was a great race,” Black recalled. “We were in there on a three-game series. We needed to win the series and we got it (Kansas City won 10-0 on Saturday before dropping a 4-3 decision on Sunday).“I started Friday night, the first game. We had two rookie pitchers in (Mark) Gubicza and (Bret) Saberhagen following me. So me giving up the home run I think took a little pressure off those guys and not having to potentially give up Reggie’s 500.“It was a long one, it was a 3-1 fastball middle in and he crushed it probably well over 450 feet, probably closer to 500 maybe. There was a nice post-home run ceremony on the field, where the Autrys (team owner Gene and family) came down and Reggie spoke to the crowd. It was a big crowd on Friday night in Anaheim. But again, we were winning handily and the homer didn’t affect really the outcome of the game.“It was a big win for the Royals, you know. It propelled us to the division (title).”"
You can watch the video of the homer below.
Jackson would be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1993 after finishing his career with 563 homers among his 2,584 hits.
Black, meanwhile, would not only help the Royals to the 1984 playoffs but also help the franchise win the World Series in 1985. He finished 121-116 with a 3.84 ERA and 2053.1 innings pitched over 15 big league seasons.