Bo Jackson Biography

Bo Jackson became known for his extraordinary abilities in baseball, football, and track and field. Beginning in 1987, Jackson played professional football (with the Los Angeles Raiders) and professional baseball (with the Kansas City Royals), earning awards in both sports. A hip injury sustained during the 1990 football season forced his retirement from that sport. After hip replacement surgery, Jackson continued to play professional baseball, for the Chicago White Sox in 1993, and for the California Angels in 1994. In 1995, however, he announced his retirement from baseball.

Bo Jackson, born in 1962, American professional athlete, noted for playing both professional baseball and professional football in the same year from 1987 to 1990. He was born Vincent Edward Jackson in Bessemer, Alabama. Talented in baseball, football, and track and field, Jackson became one of the greatest schoolboy athletes in Alabama history.

After graduating from high school and turning down an offer to play baseball with the New York Yankees, he entered Auburn University in 1982 and played football and baseball. A running back, he became Auburn's all-time leading rusher by the end of his collegiate football career in 1985, and he won the Heisman Trophy that year as the nation's top college football player. Many sports experts and enthusiasts assumed he would accept a lucrative offer to play in the National Football League (NFL), but instead he signed a contract with the Kansas City Royals baseball team. After honing his baseball skills in the minor and major leagues in the 1986 season, Jackson again surprised his fans in 1987 by signing a five-year contract with the Los Angeles Raiders football team. From 1987 to 1990 he played baseball in the spring and summer and football in the fall, during the last half of the NFL season. In 1987 Jackson set a Raiders team record by rushing for 221 yards in a single game. In 1989 he was both an NFL Pro Bowl selection and the most valuable player of baseball's All-Star game.

A hip injury sustained at the end of the 1990 football season ended Jackson's football career and threatened his baseball career. Released by the Royals in 1991, he signed a contract with the Chicago White Sox baseball team. After undergoing a hip replacement operation, which caused him to miss the 1992 season, Jackson returned in 1993 as the first major league player ever to play with an artificial hip. After the 1993 season the White Sox did not offer Jackson a contract, and he played with the California Angels baseball team during the 1994 season. In 1995 Jackson announced his retirement from baseball.

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