Reggie Jackson flew to California following the Angels' American League championship loss in Milwaukee with facial injuries incurred under what are being termed "mysterious circumstances."
"Sources" told United Press International that Jackson, a patch on his left eye and swelling near his right eye, had to be led to his seat on the plane.
The Angels said Jackson either had gotten something in his eye a couple of days ago or was hurt on the slide into third base Sunday on which Brewer right fielder Charlie Moore threw him out, depending on which friend "Mr. October" spoke with about it. Reporters who visited Jackson after the game detected no evidence of facial damage. Milwaukee police had no report of any incident later.
A Milwaukee eye doctor said he treated Jackson yesterday and "Reggie had managed to scratch the cornea in his left eye. He was in a lot of discomfort and his vision was blurry." Asked if he knew how Jackson had been injured, the doctor replied, "He (Reggie) wasn't exactly sure."
"I read where Harvey Kuenn said the fan who made the catch must have been an Angels fan," said the fan who in AL Game 3 snatched the baseball away from the Milwaukee left fielder and converted it into a California home run. "If he only knew!"
This was Eddie Becker, formerly identified only as John Doe, testifying to his hometown Racine (Wis.) Journal Times about Friday night's Game 3, from which he was hustled away from the bleachers and into protective police custody.
"After I got the ball, I first felt real good, then I sat down and thought, 'What did I do? I think I took that ball right away from Benjie,' " related Becker, 27, whose grab from over the fence prevented a catch by Ben Oglivie, gave Bob Boone a home run and ended a shutout for Don Sutton.
"I reacted strictly out of instinct and really didn't know where I was in relationship to the fence when I first made the catch," Becker said.
The Brewers won anyway, 5-3, to begin their three-game home sweep and present Becker the opportunity to see them in the World Series, something he wants "more than you can believe. I went to about 25 or 30 home games this year and even went on some road trips with them. I've even gotten to know some of the players . . . a great bunch of guys."
Guys whom, for the remaining two American League playoff games, he watched from the upper grandstand, in foul territory.
Montreal's Expos will make it official today: Bill Virdon, manager, a job at which he broke in with Williamsport, Pa., in 1966.