“He’s amazing,” said Khris Davis, Oakland’s designated hitter. “I talk to him every day about the game. He’s a competitor at heart, and that’s what makes you stronger, being able to bounce back.”
Jackson has bounced, indeed, and not just in baseball. His father, Edwin Sr., was a sergeant first class in the Army, and Edwin was born in Germany. As a boy, he lived at Fort Polk, in Louisiana, and also in Montgomery, Ala., Germany again, and Columbus, Ga. His wife, Erika, is an Air Force veteran.
“We joke about that,” Jackson said. “Will we ever live somewhere for more than five years, even after baseball is done?”
They spend the off-season in Arizona, where Jackson, a right-hander, has several unopened equipment bags with souvenirs to one day fill his den. He has kept a jersey from each of his teams — and, yes, he can recite them in order: Dodgers, Rays, Tigers, Diamondbacks, White Sox, Cardinals, Nationals, Cubs, Braves, Marlins, Padres, Orioles, Nationals (again), A’s.
Dan Evans, the former Dodgers general manager, assigned Jackson No. 36 as his first uniform number in honor of Don Newcombe, the Dodgers’ first star African-American pitcher. Jackson has the number tattooed on his left forearm, as a pair of dice showing a 3 and a 6. He just keeps rolling along, wherever the game takes him.