|Ron "Papa Jack" Jackson is the Red Sox 2003 hitting coach. Jackson, a 10-year major league playing veteran, has 14 years pro experience as a hitting coach and instructor. He joins the Red Sox after being hitting coach for AAA Las Vegas (PCL) 2000-02, the Los Angeles Dodgers top minor league team.
In 2002 Las Vegas hit .291, second best in the 16-team PCL, tied for the league lead with 820 runs and was third with 161 home runs. Before joining the Dodger system Ron was the major league hitting coach for the Milwaukee Brewers in 1999 and the Chicago White Sox, 1997-98. The 1999 Brewer batters finished in the N.L.'s top five in batting average and on-base pct.
Jackson began his coaching career in 1988 in the White Sox system for three years as a minor league hitting instructor and first base coach (Vancouver, PCL) and hitting and third base coach (Birmingham, Southern Lg.) then joined the Brewers as their roving hitting instructor 1991-92 and their AAA hitting coach at New Orleans 1993-95. On June 2, 1995 he became the White Sox major league first base coach and was named hitting coach Aug. 16, 1997.
During his 10 playing seasons with California (1975-78, '82-'84), Minnesota (1979-81), Detroit (1981) and Baltimore (1982) Jackson had a .259 career average with 56 HR and 342 RBI in 926 games. In 1978 with the Angels he hit a career-best .297 and followed with career-highs in 1979 for the Twins with 85 runs, 158 hits, 40 doubles, 14 HR and 68 RBI. As a first baseman that year he set a Twins fielding record of .9943 to exceed Rod Carew's .9937 set in 1977.
Ron played first base, third base, all three outfield spots as well as being a DH. He had a pinch hit single for the Angels in his only plate appearance vs. the Brewers in the 1982 ALCS. During his major league career he played under managers Gene Mauch, Sparky Anderson, Dick Williams and Jim Fregosi.
Jackson was the Angels second-round choice in the 1971 June free agent draft. His older brother Lawrence played in the White Sox system and another older brother, Demetrice, played in the NFL for the Washington Redskins. He graduated from Birmingham (Ala.) Wenonah H.S. where his teammate was former major leaguer Lamar Johnson.