Tuesday, June 25, 2013

#394 Randy Jackson

Randy Jackson does his best in this shot to live up to his nickname of 'Handsom Ransom'. Yes, his given name is Ransom. I checked into that at Baseball Reference to see if Randy here is the only 'Ransom' to have a record in the game. Turns out that Bob Rush, longtime NL pitcher, has Ransom as his middle name and has a card in this '59 set. We'll see that one of these days. BTW, I've also seen Jackson's nickname spelled as 'Handsome'.

But the name is shared by four minor leaguers including two I felt compelled to mention, Ransom(e) Crisp and Ransom Pringle. Mr. Pringle played for the Celoron Acme Colored Giants based in Jamestown, New York in the Iron and Oil League way back in 1898. The IOL was around in a couple of different forms back in the 1890's. Honus Wagner and his brother Butts Wagner both played in it. The Celeron club was the only black team. How cool is all that!?!?

But back to Handsom Ransom. He's a native of Arkansas who attended the University of Arkansas, transferred to TCU and then to the University of Texas. I wonder if he left behind a string of broken hearts given how damn 'handsom' he was. He played football and baseball in college and led both the Longhorns and Horned Frogs to Cotton Bowls as a halfback.

Jackson was signed by the Cubs in 1947 and spent three seasons in the minors. But he got a chance to taste the majors with a 34 game trial in 1950. In '51 he took over the regular 3rd base job for Chicago and held it for five years. Over that period he batted .265 and made the NL All Star squad in both '54 and '55, getting an RBI single in the later of those two appearances.

He was traded to the Brooklyn Dodgers and played on their World Series club in '56 after sharing the hot corner spot with Jackie Robinson. That was his last year as a regular as he suffered knee injury in 1957. He spent the next three seasons shuttling between the Dodgers, Indians and Cubs (again).  For some reason his retirement announcement was noted in the Victoria (Tx) Advocate in 1959. I guess he was still a name in Texas based on his football days. Check out the story to the right of the Jackson blurb. Seems Dodger coach Charlie Dressen was fined $300 for 'acting up' during the '59 Series.

There is an interview with Jackson and more insights into his career on this webpage. I'll let Wikipedia supply some Randy Jackson tidbits, cuz I'm getting tired of typing:

  • 28 September 1957: Hit the final home run in Brooklyn Dodgers history before the team moved to Los Angeles for the 1958 season in a 8-4 victory over the Phillies.
  • Another unusual game occurred on June 29, 1956, he was playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers against the Philadelphia Phillies, who were leading 5-2 going into the bottom of the ninth inning. Pee Wee Reece(sic) was on second base when Duke Snider preceded Jackson with a home run which brought the game to 5-4. Jackson then hit a homerun to tie the game, and on the next pitch Gil Hodges hit another home run to win the game for the Dodgers. This was the only time in Major League history that a baseball game ended with three consecutive home runs.
  • 17 April 1954: With the wind at his back, he had four hits, including a home run that hit an apartment building on Waveland Avenue, across from Wrigley Field, in a NL record three-hour and 43-minute game against the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cubs won the game 23–13, the highest scoring game ever between these two rivals, and the two teams combine for 35 hits, including five homers and a 10-run Chicago 5th inning. Jim Brosnan is the winning pitcher over Gerry Staley.


  1. I have and old ransom Jackson baseballcard signed and a 8*10 picture.

    1. Can't be very many of either of those floating around!