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Running back Bo Jackson of the Los Angeles Raiders runs down the field during a game against the Kansas City Chiefs at the Los Angeles Coliseum in Los Angeles, CA, 1990.
Nov. 30, 1962
Vincent Edward “Bo” Jackson was a standout athlete at McAdory High School in McCalla, winning two state decathlon titles, throwing baseball no-hitters and playing both offense and defense on the football squad. He was drafted by the New York Yankees out of high school but chose to attend Auburn University.
He continued to play multiple sports, but it was on the football field where Jackson rose to national prominence. He earned All-American honors as a running back and in 1985 won the coveted Heisman Trophy. That year, he rushed for 1,786 yards and 17 touchdowns. Jackson was drafted by the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers but spurned the offer, signing with Major League Baseball’s Kansas City Royals organization. He played briefly in the minors before making his debut with the Royals in 1986. The following year, after becoming eligible again for the NFL draft, Jackson signed with the Oakland Raiders and began playing two major league sports – elevating him to elite status as one of the greatest professional athletes of all time. In 1989, Jackson was named to the American League All-Star team.
The following year he rushed for 698 yards and five touchdowns over 10 games to earn NFL Pro Bowl status, making him the first athlete to be named to all-star teams in two major North American sports. In January 1991, Jackson injured his hip in a Raiders playoff game, ending his NFL career. He was released by the Royals and played three partial seasons for the Chicago White Sox and California Angels before retiring from baseball in 1995.