Jackson didn’t know it was an historic homer until some 30 years later when his son, Chuck, called to tell him he was the subject of a trivia question on the television show Good Morning America. In his autobiography, Accidental Big League, co-authored with Gaylon White, he related the story. “They asked, ‘Who was the last Brooklyn Dodger to hit a home run,” Chuck said. “Dad, the answer was you!”
As a collegiate football player, he is the only player to appear in back-to-back Cotton Bowls for different schools, the first in 1945 for Texas Christian University and the second in 1946 for the University of Texas.
As a National League All-Star, he shared the field with such baseball greats as Stan Musial, Henry Aaron, Willie Mays, Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra and Mickey Mantle. With the Dodgers he played alongside Robinson, Duke Snider, Roy Campanella, Pee Wee Reese, Gil Hodges, Carl Furillo, Don Newcombe, Carl Erskine, Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale.
In Jackson’s final at bat for the Cubs in 1959, he pinch-hit for Billy Williams, a 21-year-old rookie who went on to hit 426 homers in a Hall of Fame career.
Jackson was born Feb. 10, 1926, in Little Rock, Arkansas.
He moved his family to Athens, Georgia, in 1956 and on leaving baseball in 1959, went into the life insurance business. In 1972, he met and married his wife of 47 years, Terry Yeargan.
Jackson is survived by wife Terry; and their six children and spouses – Randy and wife, Laurie; Chuck and wife, Anna; Ann and husband, Clay, Ginny and husband, Bill; Meredith and husband, Kenny; Ransom and wife, Lara; 13 grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, March 30, at Chapelwood United Methodist Church, 100 Janice Drive in Athens.
Memorial donations may be directed to the Boys and Girls Club of Athens and the Chapelwood United Methodist Church choir.