On Opening Day in Oakland, A’s outfielder Reggie Jackson becomes the first player in fifty-eight years to wear a mustache during the regular season. The last time facial hair was worn in a major league game was in 1914 when Wally Schang wore mustachios catching for Philadelphia Athletics.
Their importance: Reggie is a young man with Down’s Syndrome, played by an actor with Down’s Syndrome (Daniel Laurie.) He’s taken in by his relatives Fred and Violet after his mother dies, and though they’re perfectly good surrogate guardians to him they know he won’t be able to stay with them forever, so they seek out places where he could live.
The show is set in London in the early sixties, a time where disability rights were almost non-existent, and the show makes it clear that most disability “hospitals” at that particular place and time were not remotely good places to live. Reggie also faces discrimination even from random people on the street, who mock him when he clearly needs help with something. But, he gets a happy ending (rarely a guaranteed thing on CtM). He goes to live in a group home where he’s able to use the garden (as he’s a keen gardener), and he still drops by to see Fred and Violet too, as we see in the Season 6 finale. All in all, he seems to be a pretty positive and non-tragic portrayal of a person with Down’s.
Free agent Reggie Jackson signs a four-year, nearly four-million dollar contract with the Angels, ending his five-year roller coaster ride with the Yankees. During his tenure in New York, the Yankees will appear in the postseason four times, winning World Championships in 1977-78.