The Royals, of course, want Jackson to quit the Raiders and concentrate on baseball, reminding him of the short life span of an NFL running back. They know by now that he's certainly not going to institute any kind of special conditioning program. Asked what he does to keep his legs in shape in the two months between the end of football season and spring training, Jackson says, "I take walks in the woods with my wife."
Bo will do what Bo wants to do. Bo wants to play football. He wants to play baseball. He wants to hunt. "Idle time is something that doesn't fit into my agenda," he says. Some days he'll come to the park with his bow and arrows, set up a target in a batting area underneath the stands and astound teammates by burying one arrow after another in the bull's-eye. Says Wathan, "Bo loves archery, so he does it—better than anyone else."
While some players may resent Jackson's awesome skills and his seemingly effortless saunter through two demanding athletic professions, the bitterness that flared two years ago when Bo announced he was going to play football has subsided. "I was upset then and said some unfortunate things," says Wilson. "But as I've come to learn, Bo's such a good guy, I just admire him." Jackson may walk up to home plate with the cool strut of a superstar, but off the field he is warm and congenial. "He's one of the few players I've ever seen who tips each individual clubhouse kid," says Boston visiting clubhouse manager Don Fitzpatrick. "Not only that, but he talks to each of them about staying in school, staying away from drugs, trying to do something for society. Bo's special."
Because of his dual career, and because he may no longer find baseball fun after a while, Jackson, now 26, may never run up the lifetime numbers of a Mantle or a Mays. But for the next five or six years, he may be the most exciting player in the game. "I won't let anyone outdo me" is the only promise Bo makes. Fair enough. We'll just sit on the edge of our seats and watch.