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Bo Jackson Elected to Royals Hall of Fame

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Royals.com) —The Kansas City Royals today announced that All-Star outfielder Bo Jackson has been elected into the Royals Hall of Fame. Jackson will be inducted during an on-field ceremony on Saturday, June 29 prior to the Royals game that afternoon vs. the Cleveland Guardians.

Jackson was placed on the ballot by the Royals Hall of Fame Executive Board and elected through the Royals Hall of Fame Veterans Committee voting process. The veterans committee vote considers the candidacy of non-field personnel in addition to players and managers no longer eligible for election by Regular Phase Royals Hall of Fame Voting. The committee consists of 16 voting members selected by the board, comprised of Royals Hall of Fame Members, Royals Club Executives and media members. Candidates must be named on at least 75% of all ballots cast to be elected.

Jackson, the 1985 Heisman Trophy winner at Auburn University, shocked the sports world by initially spurning pro football to instead sign with the Royals in 1986. Kansas City had selected Jackson in the 4th round of the 1986 First Year Player Draft, a signing which resulted from the determined commitment of scout Ken Gonzales. On his official scouting report, Gonzales summarized Jackson as the “greatest pure athlete in America today.” The then-Royals Director of Scouting, Art Stewart, said, “It was Kenny’s relationship with the family that resulted in our signing Bo.”

Once signed, Jackson was a phenomenon unlike any player before. He made his Major League debut on Sept. 2, 1986, and recorded his 1st career hit. His 1st home run on Sept. 14, 1986 traveled an estimated 475 feet, which at the time was the longest ever hit at Royals Stadium. It was just the start of a string of near-superhuman athletic feats that made Bo not just a star for the Royals, but a cultural sensation.

Jackson scaled walls and launched throws like a superhero. His remarkable Most Valuable Player performance at the 1989 MLB All-Star Game, which included a memorable leadoff home run, cemented his status as a star among stars. Bo led the Royals with a career-best 32 home runs and 105 RBI during that 1989 season, then led the club again with 28 home runs in 1990.

“I’m so happy for my friend Bobo to get that call” said Hall of Famer and 13-time All-Star George Brett. “He was a great teammate and probably the most exciting player I ever played with. You’d see things that no other human could do on a baseball field or a football field. He’s one of the greatest athletes of our time, and it’s an honor to welcome him to the Royals Hall of Fame, where he belongs.”

Jackson suffered a hip injury playing for the Los Angeles Raiders in an NFL playoff game in January of 1991 which soon ended his Royals career. But where injury may have robbed Jackson’s playing days of longevity, he and his supreme talent delivered moments and memories few athletes will ever match.