I always figured Reggie Jackson owed me. When I was nine, my brother and I staked out the lobby of the Sheraton in Boston, waiting to ambush Mr. October for an autograph. I gingerly held in my palm the gem of my baseball card collection—a mint 1969 Reggie rookie card. When he finally appeared, Jackson whipped out a ballpoint pen and scribbled "Reggie" with such force that the card was mangled and rendered worthless. It remains a bittersweet memento.
That was 1978, the same year the rest of the country received its own bittersweet Reggie memento—a round, 25-cent patty of chocolate-covered caramel, peanuts and ego called the Reggie! bar. Produced by Standard Brands, the Reggie! bar was born out of a boast. Before joining the Yankees, in 1977, Jackson joked that if he played in New York City, he would get a candy bar named after him. Sure enough, after his epic and showy performance in the '77 World Series, he got his wish. (Voicing what everyone in Boston was thinking, teammate Catfish Hunter cracked, "When you unwrap a Reggie! bar, it tells you how good it is.")
Following a nine-year-old's particular brand of logic, I bought a Reggie! bar and vowed not to eat the damn thing. I tucked the candy in my closet and never opened the Day-Glo package. Recently I found a bar listed on eBay, on sale for the desperate sum of $4.99. I watched as it sat on the auction block for a week and received no bids. Forget what you owe me for that mauled card, Reggie. The sweet silence of confectionary obscurity is payment enough.