Now a special adviser to the Yankees, Jackson has fond recollections of Steinbrenner, who owned the Yankees from 1973 until his death three years ago. He details many of his feuds with Martin, his manager for parts of three seasons.
“He lied to people,” Jackson wrote. “That was his history. He lied to the general manager; he lied to the owner. He lied to players all the time, which was a big reason why he wore out his welcome.”
Jackson also claimed Martin, who died in 1989, made anti-Semitic remarks about a Yankees pitcher. Ken Holtzman, who was Jewish, played for the Yankees in 1977. And Jackson said most of the time Willie Randolph was the only black player on the team sympathetic to him.
“Most of the black players on our team did not support me, and that hurt,” Jackson said. “Nobody — nobody — really wanted to locker next to me.”
He also says that Martin borrowed the line about Jackson and Steinbrenner that led to Martin’s forced resignation in July 1978: “One’s a born liar, the other’s convicted.”
“It wasn’t even original. It was something a couple of guys on the team came up with. They’d been saying it about Steinbrenner and Billy Martin himself — not me! — since back in spring training,” Jackson said.
Jackson, who hit 563 home runs and was inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame in 1993, said he wishes he were playing in the current era
“In some ways with ESPN and additional media, the controversy would be bigger. It would never stop. They’d have to bring back Walter Cronkite. They’d cover the things I said and supposedly said on the evening news. That would be such fun,” he wrote. “If I played today, I’d stay in trouble. I’d be in the commissioner’s office all the time, I guess. I’d be everywhere — including where I wasn’t supposed to be.”