All A's

Jackson calls A's situation ‘sad,' recalls his failed ownership bid

NBC Universal, Inc.

Reggie Jackson ended his playing career with the Athletics in 1987, but he wanted to return to the team in a major way nearly two decades later.

The clutch Hall of Famer, who helped Oakland win three consecutive World Series titles, weighed in on the team's potential move to Las Vegas and recently revealed to NBC Sports California that he put a large offer in to purchase the team back in 2005.

"I think it's a sad case and a sad situation what happened to me and the Oakland A's," Jackson told Dave Stewart on the latest "All A's" episode. "I was high bidder for the A's, not [current owner] John Fisher. I was. My bid was $140 million plus $25 million. That was the price here. My letter in writing said I will pay $25 million more than any bona fide offer to [then-owner] Ken Hofmann. I sent that to [then-MLB commissioner] Bud Selig. He never turned it in.

"So all the stuff that goes on here for me breaks my heart because I didn't even know it for the longest time. And when I found out that I never even made an offer, because I was [told], 'I'll show you the way, I'll do it for you.' I had a legal offer for the team, and it's so sad where it is today. I've called John Fisher several times about participating in a minority way, whether it's 10 percent. When it first traded, I met [former owner] Lew Wolff at the Long Beach Hyatt in Long Beach, [and he said], 'Oh I can't do anything Reggie, it's out of my hands.' Really? ... So it got to a point where I've had a couple conversations with John, he doesn't hear me."

Jackson assembled an ownership group that included Bill Gates, Paul Allen and John McCaw. However, the team eventually was sold to Wolff in 2005 after Jackson's group reportedly never made an offer.

Now, seven years after the team was sold to Fisher in 2016, the A's owner has begun the application process to move the team to Las Vegas.

The potential relocation has drawn all kinds of criticism across not just the baseball world, but the entire sports industry.

Jackson, too, was critical of city officials and believes they should’ve tried harder to keep the team in Oakland.

Jackson left the A's after the 1975 season and played one season with the Baltimore Orioles (1976), five with the New York Yankees (1977-1981) and five with the California Angels (1982-1986), but returned to Oakland to retire as an Athletic in 1987.

While there's no telling what could have been, Jackson surely does wish things could have panned out differently.

Contact Us