Player Profile - Ernie Jackson

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Remembering  a Remarkable Career

Author: Nicholas Genova

Ernie Jackson has long been one of my favorite players in the PBDL.  His appeal was driven by his unbelievable shortstop defense, a truly game changing player at his defensive position, combined with elite offensive talent.  Since the founding of the league, he has been considered the best SS in the game and at his peak performance, will be unlikely to be matched for some time.

Ernie entered the PBDL in its inaugural season at the age of 25 years old.  And his impact was felt almost immediately.  In his first season, he put up a WAR of 4.6 with an OPS of .944 and 20 home runs earning a gold glove at SS and rookie of the year honors in the Silver League.  One of the most remarkable traits he possessed was his consistency as he continued to put up .900+ OPS seasons in his first 7 out of 8 seasons recording seven 20+ home run seasons during that span.  His performances during this span helped catapult the Pittsburgh Penguins to the Gold League where he would win 2 gold league championships in 2017 and 2018.

As a true icon for Pittsburgh fans and a legend in his own right, it came as quite a shock when it was announced that Jackson had been traded to the Bronze League just two weeks into the 2021 season where he would play for the Anaheim Ducks.  Jackson was traded along with two other high caliber veterans for two solid young prospects in a trade that will go down as one of the biggest trades in PBDL history.  His first season in Anaheim was a disappointment by his standards, but he bounced back to post solid numbers in both 2022 and 2023.  As age caught up with the prolific shortstop, his numbers declined significantly in 2024 and Anaheim elected not to extend his contract.  Now as a free agent, he is currently contemplating retirement.  If he does play, he will likely have to settle as a utility type player as his defense is not what it used to be and his bat speed and strength have declined materially.

While not the longest career in terms of years, spanning 12 years to date, it is remarkable how many records, awards and accomplishments he has achieved.  Here is a quick list of some of his accomplishments:

-        Gold Glove Award winner 3 times

-        Supreme Slugger Award winner 4 times

-        3 Championships (2 Gold, 1 Bronze)

-        248 Career Home Runs (well ahead of everyone else)

-        1242 Hits

-        44.9 WAR

The WAR figure is truly elite.  Generally, an MLB player with a career WAR of 60 or greater will be highly likely to receive strong consideration for entrance into the Hall of Fame.  Since the PBDL is about half of an MLB season, Ernie’s 44.9 WAR would translate to nearly 90 in the MLB.  Whether or not Ernie decides to retire this season, his truly game changing performance will be strongly felt and remembered in the PBDL for years to come.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 August 2014 15:32