The Mets’ selection of Steve Chilcot with the #1 pick in the 1966 amateur draft instead of Reggie Jackson was the sort of franchise-dooming decision even the Portland Trail Blazers would have to wince at. Almost a half century later, Jackson uses his upcoming memoir, ‘Becoming Mr. October’, to claim the Mets had a racial motive at the time, with the New York Post’s Larry Getlen providing the excerpts.
“A day or two before the draft, (Arizona State coach) Bobby Winkles sat me down and told me, ‘You’re probably not gonna be the No. 1 pick. You’re dating a Mexican girl, and the Mets think you will be a problem,’ ” Jackson writes. “ ‘They think you’ll be a social problem because you are dating out of your race.’ ”
Jackson was especially baffled because he’s part Hispanic — his grandmother is from Puerto Rico and his middle name is Martinez. But that didn’t matter, even to the perennial cellar-dwelling Mets.
“No, you’re colored, and they don’t want that,” Winkles said.
‘Becoming Mr. October” is a score-settling lament about all the people who have wronged Jackson, who comes off as the A-Rod of his day — incredibly talented, disliked by his teammates and ignorant of why anyone would be mad at him.
“This book has been written because I wanted to set the record straight regarding what the 1977-1978 seasons of the Yankees were like from my side,” Jackson writes. “The mini-series ‘The Bronx is Burning’ thoroughly embarrassed me the way the story was told.”