Jackson has played not only one, but two sports, at least on the professional level – and even so, he was successful in both fields (pardon the pun). The multi-faceted athlete has played professional baseball and football, and has earned the rare distinction of being named an All-Star in two major sports in the USA.
If you wonder if his astounding athletic talents are inborn or are something that he has worked hard for, well, let us take a short dash to his story.
Bo Jackson was born Vincent Edward Jackson on November 30, 1962 in Bessemer, Alabama, the eighth of ten children. Sports became his passion at an early age. While he was a high school senior in McAdory High School in McCalla, he was a baseball and football sensation. During his high school years he excelled in football, baseball, and track and field, even setting state school records.
Before Jackson even graduated from high school he was recruited by the New York Yankees in the 1982 Major League Baseball draft
But Jackson opted instead to enter Auburn University via a football scholarship. He set and broke records in regional college football, won the MVP and ended his eventful, exciting season with a Sugar Bowl trophy.
Jackson’s professional career began in 1986, when he played for the Kansas City Royals. In 1989 Jackson shone by winning the MVP in the American League All-Star team for both his offensive and defensive plays. One of his most memorable and famous plays was his incredible “wall run” in 1990, where he literally ran up the “face” of the wall itself for a moment to catch the ball at full tilt. However, injury forced him to be released from the Royals the following year. Jackson also played for the Chicago White Sox and the California Angels. Among his other distinguished achievements were the 1993 Comeback Player of the Year Award, and 20 and 30 Home-Run Seasons.
He signed on with the Los Angeles Raiders in 1987, and made astounding achievements for a “second-string” player, including a record-breaking 221-yard rushing
Jackson played football for four seasons until a serious hip injury during the 1990 NFL playoffs sidelined his football career.
Although he never came back to play football again, Jackson made an amazing return to baseball by returning to the Chicago White Sox. He no longer had his famous speed then, but he still had the power to play the game. Jackson retired when the MLB’s 1994 season finished with an infamous strike.
Jackson’s fame for his athleticism only increased through his “Bo Knows” Nike campaign, as the shoe brand’s endorser
Since his retirement, he has pursued other things and endeavors, including getting back to finish his college education (graduating with a BS degree in Family and Child Development). He also entered the entertainment world, appearing in several television sitcoms such as The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air, as well as on a reality show titled Pros vs. Joes. He also formed his own sports facility called the Bo Jackson Elite Sports Complex in 2007.
One of Jackson’s most recent and definitely greatest achievements is the recognition given to him by ESPN as the “Greatest Athlete Of All Time” in 2013, besting other sports behemoths such as Muhammad Ali and Michael Jordan.
That’s Bo Jackson, simply one of the greatest athletes of the 20th century. His other talents have allowed him to branch out to other avenues outside sports. And he’s not called the amazing Bo Jackson for nothing.