Boston Red Sox fans of a certain era can say what they will about Baseball Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson, but after seeing him at the SAPPHIRE Now and ASUG Annual Conference this week in Orlando, Florida, I can only say he’s a class act all the way.
From graciously replacing his Rolex with a surprise birthday gift of a Mickey Mouse watch (he just turned 70), to calling himself a bright guy but not all that technology savvy, Jackson won the crowd over with his humble candor.
Full disclosure, I’m from Boston so never swung towards the teams Jackson played for, (especially those prone to wearing pinstripes). However, as an SAP employee, I am proud that Jackson selected SAP Anywhere to power Reggie Jackson’s Garage, his online classic car business, which reflects his lifelong passion for machines on wheels. Jackson spoke during a panel discussion about how his love of cars began early and continued throughout his life.
“In my family, we had a little game we played on the stoop out front during the summer time – us six kids, mom and dad,” he recalled. “If you could note the cars that came by and recognize the year, make, model, type of engine, number of doors, calling out as many things that were correct, you won the five cent packet of Kool-Aid.”
Jackson described how his passion for cars grew throughout his childhood, helping fix the trucks his father used for his tailoring and dry cleaning business. “My love of cars started at a very young age. In high school I bought a 55 Chevy.”
He went on to collect cars after he made it to the Major Leagues as a baseball player, and looking ahead to a work life after retirement from baseball. “By the time I left baseball, I had up to 30 cars, and wanted to turn my hobby into a business. It all started when I used to think, I’d sure like to be making money when I go to sleep at night. I had a friend who had a business like this, selling items online around the world. With all of the contacts I’ve made and my understanding of the classic car business, I wanted to create a one-stop-shop where the best manufacturers of car parts were. I had an idea that needed someone to create a structure and foundation for it, and that’s what SAP did.”
Today Reggie’s Garage meets the needs of car enthusiasts worldwide, providing hundreds of thousands of products for fixing and restoring classic automobiles. Jackson especially values how SAP Anywhere has made running Reggie’s Garage easy. “It keeps it simple for the average guy,” he said. “With one button, all the information I need is together so I know what’s going on with my cash over there, how many people were online and stayed online, where they were when they left, how the shopping cart’s working, if our supplier knows when a product will ship, where a particular product is located. The simplicity of the sophistication makes understanding the complex simple. That’s what SAP Anywhere does for me.”
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