There are three certainties in life: death, taxes, and #AustinJacksonStrikesOut hashtags. Well, until Trade Deadline Day, that is. Now we're back to death and taxes, after Austin Jackson was traded to the Seattle Mariners as part of the three-team trade that brought David Price to Detroit. This has certainly led to some very mixed emotions. How can you not be elated that the Tigers now have David Price in the rotation? And how can you not be melancholy that Austin Jackson is no longer the center fielder for the Tigers?
So let's say our goodbyes the right way. Let's honor the four-and-a-half years that Austin Jackson spent in Detroit by reliving some of the magic one last time.
5. No home runs on my watch
We got to see plenty of these plays over the years. Would-be home runs turned into long outs because of Jackson's range, athleticism, and knowledge of the territory out in Comerica's center field area.
4. Who says I don't dive?
Austin Jackson doesn't dive, right? Right?! Not as a rule of thumb, he didn't, but every once in a while (as in, maybe once a year) he would pull the diving trick out of his toolbox and give us a show.
3. Make it 4-for-5 please
Yes, #AustinJacksonStrikesOut and the nickname "KJax" were long-standing jokes, due to Jackson's 20 percent (or worse) strikeout rates. But that's not to say that he couldn't hit. He could. Here's just one of many examples.
2. Nailing Fukudome at the plate to save Valverde's perfect year
Jose Valverde was working on putting together a perfect 49-for-49 year in 2011, and he nearly lost it in this game against Cleveland with the tying run on third and only one out. Austin Jackson put his arm on display and pulled off an amazing double play to save Valverde's bacon (er, potato).
1. The perfect catch
This has to be the Number One. I do believe this was the origin of Rod Allen's "OHHHH JACKSON!" scream. Jackson did quite a bit to help bail his team's pitchers out of trouble, and here he preserved Galarraga's perfect game in the ninth inning.
Bonus moment: So long, old friend
The news was delivered in a shocking way. Once the Price trade was executed, Jackson was pulled off the field in the middle of the seventh inning, to a standing ovation from Comerica's fans who understood exactly what was happening. Dombrowski later said it was necessary. The trade had to be announced by 4:00 p.m., and the seventh inning wasn't wrapping up fast enough, so they had to get Jackson off the field before the deadline expired.
In retrospect, it was a lucky thing the inning dragged on. Jackson got to leave the field to a chorus of cheers, instead of simply coming off the field with the rest of his team and simply never coming back out. The fans got a chance to say goodbye, and that's as it should be.
Here are Dan Dickerson and Jim Price's reactions to this climactic moment.