May 1, 2015

Late Seventies Mets Pitcher: Roy Lee Jackson (1977-1980)

Roy Lee Jackson was born on May 1st 1954 in Opelika, Alabama. The six foot two right hander attended Tuskegee University in Tuskegee Alabama.

Jackson was signed by the New York Mets in 1975 and went 10-8 at the low levels of the minor leagues. In 1976 he was 2-3 at A ball Lynchburg getting promoted up to AA Jackson where he ent 8-6 with a 3.00 ERA. In 1977 he was the top pitcher on the AAA Tidewater Tides staff going 13-7 with a 3.70 ERA striking out 110 batters in 168 innings. Also on the Tides staff were 11 game winners Mike Bruhert & Mardie Cornejo.

Jackson was called up to the Met staff in mid September debuting against the Expos in a start in Montreal. He went into the 6th inning allowing three runs on five hits no figuring in the decision, an 8-5 loss. He would pitch four games taking two losses both against the St. Louis Cardinals at the end of the season.

In 1978 Jackson's 11 wins led the AAA Tides staff once again, ahead of Mike Scott & Juan Berenguer. He got another late season call up, appearing in four games allowing at least two runs in each effort. In 12.2 innings pitched, Jackson gave up 13 earned runs (9.24 ERA) 21 hits & two HRs.

In 1979 Jackson was back at AAA Tidewater, going 12-7 with a 3.74 ERA second on the staff to Scott Holman. He got another September call up pitching eight games in relief earning a win on the last day of the regular season. Although Jackson came into the game & surrendered a 2-1 Mets lead, he was saved when Eliot Maddox singled home Alex Trevino & scored himself on a two base error.

In 1980 he began the year at AAA Tidewater once again getting to the Mets staff by July. In his third outing he pitched a complete game three hit, three run shut out against the Reds in Cincinnati. After that he lost four straight decisions, then earned a save against the Chicago Cubs in September. Jackson lost three more games going 1-7 on the year with a 4.20 ERA in 24 appearances. That year he was featured throwing a pitch at the beginning of the first episode of the PBS science education television show 3-2-1 Contact. In December he was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for Bob Bailor.

Jackson spent four seasons as a reliever in Toronto going 24-21 in that time, with a season best 8-3 record in 1983. In 1982 he combined to throw a one hitter against the Baltimore Orioles with Jim Gott, in a game that happened to be the first game of Cal Ripkens historic consecutive game streak.

In 1985 he was released & spent one season with the San Diego Padres. The next year he made 28 appearances with the Minnesota Twins going 0-1 ending his MLB career.

In a ten year career he was 28-34 with a 3.77 ERA, striking out 351 batters walking 203 batters, allowing 50 HRs in 559 innings pitched.

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