When Reggie Jackson got traded to the Orioles in 1976, my 10 year old head almost exploded. I’ve always been disappointed that Topps never released a card featuring Reggie wearing the orange & black. This week, I decided to change that.
On April 2, 1976, Finley took the first major step in dismantling his A’s dynasty when he traded Jackson and pitcher Ken Holtzman (along with minor league pitcher Bill VanBommell) to the Baltimore Orioles for Don Baylor, Paul Mitchell and Mike Torrez. Heading into the 1976 season, the A’s had won five straight AL West titles to go with their three Fall Classic crowns. But the new economic structure of baseball convinced Finley that he had to unload his talented veterans as quickly as possible.
Jackson helped the Orioles to a second-place finish in the AL East in 1976, hitting 27 home runs, driving in 91 runs and even stealing a career-best 28 bases. But Jackson left no doubt that he would explore the newly created free agent market following the season.