Previous | Main | Next 34/38

Clearly, Jackson understood the importance of that memorable event, as a vintage notation on the OAL (Cronin) ball, signed just days after the All-Star Game, attests:

"July 12, 1971, Pinch-hit for Vida in 2nd inning of the 1971 All-Star Game, Doc Ellis, This is one of the biggest thrills of my career. An All time HR at the All-Time game. A.L. - 6, N.L. - 4, Reggie Jackson."

Jackson's date is one day off, which isn't uncommon with historic baseballs. Most players signed them later and, as they were constantly on the road, the date was, more often than not, off by a day or two.

Click to enlarge

1971 All-Star Voting Ballot

Get updates from

Longest Home Run in Baseball History:
Reggie's 1971 All-Star Game Home Run Ball

In the second inning of the 1971 All-Star game, Reggie Jackson, who was a last minute substitution for the injured Tony Oliva, hit, what is considered, through serious scientific analysis, the longest home run ever recorded in professional baseball history. This is the ball that Jackson hit off of Pirate pitcher Dock Ellis on an 0 and 2 count. The ball hit the light tower at Tiger Stadium over 400 feet from home plate and was seen to still be rising. A study done by Wayne State University says the ball was on a trajectory to travel 650 feet!

Moment of Impact: Jackson unloads on an 0-2 Dock Ellis slider during the 1971 All-Star game, hitting the most gargantuan home run in the game’s history. July 13, 1971.

After it hit the light tower, the ball came down in rightfield to Willie Mays, who threw it in to Jackson to keep as a memento. Jackson later gave the ball to an old friend and business associate whose notarized recollection says: "As I recall, Jackson visited my office a few days following the 1971 All Star game. He said, 'I have a present for you,' and handed me this ball. He then retold the experience of hitting the home run. I don't think either of us could have fathomed this ball's significance at the time.”

Many baseball experts now point to this homer as Jackson's "arrival," his notice to the sports world(there were 21 future Hall of Famers playing in the 1971 All-Star game) that he was a legend in the making. His third home run in Game 6 of the 1977 World Series made him a legend.
Click here to see that ball.

Here’s an article from 2005 that recalls Jackson’s 1971 All-Star blast.