Saturday, January 7, 2012

Travis Jackson comes to mind

I live in southern Arkansas (or Lower Arkansas, aka LA), and for a time drove through Waldo, Arkansas, on my way to work every day.  At the time, I was a computer tech for Southern Arkansas University.  When coming back home after work, there was sign that always caught my attention:

I passed by that sign every workday.  I meant to look into who Jackson was, but never seemed to remember by the time I got home.  The sign is long gone now.  For no known reason I can come up with, Jackson's name popped in my head today.  And, so, I Googled him.

According to BBHOF:
Travis Jackson was the hustling captain and clutch-hitting shortstop on John McGraw's Giants teams of the 1920s, playing through the mid-1930s. His outstanding arm, exceptional range and quick release earned him great respect in the field. Nicknamed Stonewall, after the Civil War general and for the wall of defense he supplied at shortstop, he also hit 135 home runs and compiled six .300-or-higher seasons at the plate. Rogers Hornsby praised Jackson by saying, "In all the years I watched him, playing with him and against him, I never saw him make a mistake."
He was so good at stopping the ball, he was actually given the nickname "Stonewall."  Nice!

I did not know that he passed away in 1987 until I started looking in to his information.  That's at least three years before I came to Arkansas.  He was inducted in 1982, five years before his passing.  I would have liked to have met him.

After checking out Jackson, I decided to see what other Arkansans are in the BBHOF.  Turns out, there are at least SEVEN members with Arkansas ties!  How cool!

Bill Dickey, Lou Brock, Dizzy Dean, Brooks Robinson, George Kell, and "Arky" Vaughan round out the rest of the boys from Arkansas.

Jackson was born in Waldo and he died in Waldo.  Between the two, he managed to set himself apart from other baseball players during the "Roaring 20's" playing for the NY Giants.  That's a pretty good life in my book.