Royals History: Remembering Bo Jackson 30 Years Later

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Nov 28, 2015; Auburn, AL, USA; Auburn Tigers former player Bo Jackson looks on from the sidelines during the first quarter against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Jordan Hare Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 28, 2015; Auburn, AL, USA; Auburn Tigers former player Bo Jackson looks on from the sidelines during the first quarter against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Jordan Hare Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY Sports /
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Injury

By January of 1991, Bo Jackson seemed like a Paul Bunyonesque figure that could do anything he wanted. However, the two-sport lifestyle was already wearing on him. Despite the 1990 Raiders qualifying for the playoffs, Jackson made the decision to focus on one sport (baseball) after Los Angeles completed their playoff run. 

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Jackson said that his oldest child was about to begin school, and he didn’t want to pull him around the country. So, four days before playing the Cincinnati Bengals in the 1991 playoffs, he had decided to announce his retirement from pro football.

It was not to be. While trying to break away from Bengals defenders, Bo Jackson got dragged down from behind injuring his hip. He ended up with vascular necrosis, which destroyed the ball joint where his leg met the pelvis. Jackson required a hip replacement to walk.

He was never the same again. Bo Jackson couldn’t play football, and could only run with a limp. The Kansas City Royals declined to re-sign him after his recovery time took him past the point where he became eligible for free-agency. Jackson signed with the California Angels and then later played for the Chicago White Sox, but he was mere shadow of his former self. The monster that could run like a sprinter now limped around the baseball field.

Bp Jackson managed to play three partial seasons in MLB before retiring after the 1994 season at age 31.

Next: Legacy

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