- Height: 6'1"
- Weight: 227lbs
- Date of birth: November 30, 1962
- Birthplace: Bessemer, Alabama
- High School: McAdory High
- College: Auburn
- MLB Debut: September 2, 1986
- Final Game: August 10, 1994
- NFL Debut: 1987
- Final Game: 1990
- Position: Left field/DH (MLB); Running back (NFL)
- Bats: Right
- Throws: Right
Bo Jackson was a John Henry-like colossus who won the Heisman Trophy, was the only athlete to become an All-Star in both Major League Baseball and the National Football League, and ran the 60-yard dash fast enough to consider joining the U.S. Olympic team. Jackson played running back for the Los Angeles Raiders and left field and designated hitter for the Kansas City Royals, the Chicago White Sox and the California Angels.
Jackson was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as the first pick in the 1986 draft, but chose to play baseball for the Kansas City Royals, who had drafted him that same year. (The New York Yankees had drafted him four years earlier as a high school player, but Jackson chose to attend college.) In his first year with the Royals he hit 22 home runs and two years later made the American League All-Star team. After hitting a 450-foot home run off Rick Reuschel and stealing a base, Jackson was named the game's MVP.
In 1987, Jackson decided to play pro football for the Oakland Raiders, who had drafted him. Joining the Raiders midway through the 1987 season, Jackson rushed for 554 yards on 81 carries in just seven games. Over the next three seasons, Bo Jackson would rush for 2,228 more yards and 12 touchdowns - an achievement all the more remarkable because he was a substitute back for Marcus Allen. In his four NFL seasons, he averaged 5.4 yards per carry, which put him in the rarified air of Jim Brown.
Jackson's play was the stuff of legend: In a game against the Seattle Mariners, he made a flat-footed throw from the warning track to home on a fly that nabbed an incredulous Harold Reynolds. In another game, against Baltimore, he ran full-tilt toward the outfield wall, caught a long drive, then ran up the wall and floated down. In 1991, he gained 221 yards against the Seattle Seahawks and literally ran over linebacker Brian Bosworth, who prior to the game had bragged about stopping Jackson.
A major hip injury suffered in a 1990 NFL playoff game eventually forced Jackson to undergo a hip replacement, which ended his football career. People thought Jackson's baseball life was over, too, until Jackson, then playing for the Chicago White Sox, homered on the first pitch he saw in 1993. However, the hip condition had sapped his speed and forced him to retire from baseball in 1994.
Career Highlights, Awards, and Accolades:
- In 1985, hit .401 with 17 home runs and 43 RBIs while at Auburn University
- Four career 20 home run seasons in the MLB: 1987, 1988, 1989, and 1990
- One career 30 home run season: 1989
- One career 100 RBI season: 1989
- Named to the 1989 AL All-Star Team.
- All-Star Game MVP in 1989
- Named 1993 AL Comeback Player of the Year
- First team All-American in 1983 and 1985
- 1985 Heisman Trophy winner
- 1985 Walter Camp Award winner
- Ranks second all-time in SEC history with 1,786 rushing yards in 1985
- Ranks second all-time in SEC history with 4,303 career rushing yards
- His #34 jersey was retired by Auburn in 1992
- Inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1998
- Rushed for an NFL career high 221 yards in 1987
- Rushed for a career high 950 yards in 1989 in only 11 games