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Saturday, December 18, 2021

Ron Jackson watched hitters his whole life, in majors as player, later as coach

Former major leaguer and longtime White Sox organization coach Ron Jackson got his first chance to serve as the team's top hitting coach in 1997 and the hitters started to respond, The Chicago Tribune wrote.

For Jackson, he wasn't surprised by the early results, according to The Tribune. He cited his long baseball resume.

"If you're going to help hitters, you have to know what you're looking for," Jackson told The Tribune. "I feel like it's a gift from God for me. I've been watching hitters my whole life."

Jackson watched hitters throughout his decade-long major league playing career, then watched and worked with them, by that point, in more than a decade as a minor league coach and major league base coach.

He then went on to coach over more than decade more, including four seasons spent as the major league hitting coach for the Boston Red Sox, helping the club hit its way to its 2004 drought-busting title.

Jackson's long career in baseball began in 1971, taken by the Angels in the second round of the draft out of Wenonah High School in Alabama.

Jackson started at rookie Idaho Falls. He made single-A Quad City in 1972 and AA El Paso in 1973. For 1975, he made AAA Salt Lake City and, that September, saw California. He got into 13 games for the Angels and hit .231.

He returned to the Angels for 1976 and saw at least 100 games over five-consecutive seasons. He hit .297 with the Angels in 1978, before being traded to the Twins for 1979.

Jackson hit .271 and .265 over 1979 and 1980. He moved to the Tigers mid-1981 in another trade, before returning to the Angels for 1982. He saw his final major league time in 1984, between the Angels and the Orioles.

He then started his coaching career by 1988 as he served as a coach at AAA Vancouver, then hitting coach at AA Birmingham for 1989 and at high-A Sarasota in 1990.

Jackson returned to the majors in 1995 as first-base coach with the White Sox. He made hitting coach late in 1997 and all of 1998.

He arrived with the Red Sox as hitting coach for 2003. To start the 2004 season, Jackson, also known as "Papa Jack," spoke to The Fort Myers News-Press about coaching major leaguers.

"Sometimes we forget that they're all human," Jackson told The News-Press. "I'm here to be another eye for them. We put things together and we put a formula together for each and every one of these guys to maintain their swing."

Jackson stayed with the Red Sox through 2006. He then served as hitting coach for three seasons at AAA Round Rock.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,804
Made the Majors:1,284-33.8%-X
Never Made Majors:2,520-66.2%
5+ Seasons in the Majors:526
10+ Seasons in the Minors:319

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