Beginning today, an American League team can pick up the real Bo Jackson for less than the price of his baseball card.
Jackson was released by the Kansas City Royals on Monday after the team determined his football-related hip injury would not allow him to play baseball this year.The Royals were to ask waivers on Jackson this morning and any team could claim him for $1 during the waiver period that ends 2 p.m. EST Friday.
"This action is taken with deep regret," Royals GM Herk Robinson said. "The entire Royals organization is deeply appreciative to Bo for his contributions to the club. We wish him and his family the very best of health and success."
Dr. Steve Joyce, the Royals' team physician, said Jackson has a fracture-dislocation of his left hip. The injury, sustained in the Los Angeles Raiders' NFL playoff game on Jan. 13, has resulted in cartilage damage in the hip socket.
Robinson said the Royals would pay one-sixth of the $2,375,000 contract Jackson agreed to in February - $395,833. Jackson would have only made the full amount of his contract if he was on Kansas City's opening day roster.
The Royals notified Jackson's agent, Richard Woods, by telephone in Birmingham, Ala., of their decision. Jackson was examined by Dr. James Andrews earlier on Monday in Birmingham.
Jackson completed the fourth year of a $7.4 million five-year deal with the Los Angels Raiders in 1990.
Robinson said different doctors gave different time frames for when Jackson would be able to play again.
In other developments:
Jim Abbott got his first hit in a major league uniform. The one-handed pitcher drew a standing ovation from the capacity crowd at Scottsdale Stadium when he tripled into the gap in right-center field in the second inning of the California Angels' 6-3 loss to the San Francisco Giants.
Abbott bats only during exhibition games against National League teams, when no designated hitter is used, and now is now 1-for-3 with one sacrifice bunt in four career spring plate appearances.
"It was exciting. You don't know if you're ever going to get a hit again," Abbott said.
Abbott hasn't hit regularly since his senior year at Flint (Mich.) Central High, when he was a .400 hitter as a senior. On Monday, he hit Rick Reuschel's first pitch almost 400 feet.
Abbott tripled and later scored to give the Angels a 3-0 lead. But the Giants got within a run on Kevin Mitchell's two-run homer off Abbott in the fourth, then scored four times in the eighth to win.
Will Clark's RBI single tied it, Mitchell, returning after missing three days with an injured right wrist, hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly and Robby Thompson added a two-run pinch-hit double.