Before MLB Allowed Player Paternity Leave, Bo Jackson Once Struck Out, Got Ejected From A Game On Purpose

Maybe the greatest athlete in history — he’s certainly on the short list — Vincent Edward “Bo” Jackson once got ejected from a baseball game on purpose. On July 21, 1990, the Kansas City Royals All-Star was ejected for arguing balls and strikes with the home plate umpire. But he did so to get to the hospital to see his newborn daughter, Morgan.

“I purposely took strike three right down the pipe, and I turn around and got into the ump’s face and called him a name,” Jackson told ESPN in 2016. “He threw me out the game and I said thank you.”

Bo Wanted To See His Newborn Daughter

According to Jackson, his daughter was born that morning and he got to spend the day with her and his wife in the hospital.

That’s a pretty good reason to get tossed from a game. Though maybe he should’ve just asked for the day off?

Back then it likely wasn’t looked upon favorably if men missed games for the birth of their children. It’s still not really part of the macho jock culture, but players would get less public ridicule today.

Paternity Leave For Today’s Players

In fact, Bo would never have to got to those lengths today just to be there for the birth of his child. Pursuant to Major League Baseball’s 2011 collective bargaining agreement with the Player’s Union, Major League Baseball players were afforded three days of paternity leave.

According to Foley Family Law, the provision came to light when New York “Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy, exercised his right to paternity leave in early April 2014 to join his wife and new son.

As expected, Murphy’s decision was met with great criticism, but is much more socially acceptable and common now.

Bo Was A Superstar

A two-sport star in college at Auburn, Jackson won the 1985 Heisman Trophy and was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1986 NFL Draft by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers but refused to play for them. He instead opted to play for the defending World Series Champion Kansas City Royals, who selected him in the fourth round.

Jackson eventually played in the NFL for the Raiders and became the only athlete in history to be named both an MLB All-Star (1989) and NFL Pro Bowl player (1990).

He became a household name through Nike’s “Bo Knows” advertising campaign. The series of ads starred Jackson alongside Rock and Roll Hall of Fame musician Bo Diddley, and other star athletes, including Andre Agassi and Wayne Gretzky, while promoting a cross-training shoe named for Jackson.

A devastating hip injury robbed Jackson of what might have been a Pro Hall of Fame football career. But he did dazzle and awe us at his peak. When you tuned into a Jackson game on the diamond or gridiron you never knew what you were going to get, but there was always the possibility of greatness.

These days you can see Jackson on commercials, on the sidelines at Auburn football games, and doing charitable work. He also runs “Bo Bikes Bama”, a charity benefit bicycle ride he started to honor the Alabamians who lost their lives during the devastating tornadoes that ripped through the state on April 27, 2011.

“As I enter a new decade, I am most proud of what I have been able to give back,” said Jackson in a press release announcing the 2023 date. “Bo Bikes Bama is an extraordinary event that brings together people from all walks of life who share a common cause. Over the past 12 years, our work to help fund community storm shelters and warning sirens has made Alabama a safer place to live.”

Jackson is a proud Alabamian and is always looking to give back to his home state.


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