New York Yankee baseball player Reggie Jackson’s comments in Sport magazine from May 1977 angered other Yankees, such as catcher Thurman Munson. Jackson was quoted as saying: “it all flows from me. I’m the straw that stirs the drink. Munson thinks he can be the straw that stirs the drink, but he can only stir it bad.” It has been claimed that Sport writer Robert Ward fed the line to Jackson while they were at a Fort Lauderdale bar during 1977 Florida spring training, but New York (NY) Times sportwriter Murray Chass (see October 20, 1977 citation below) wrote that the quote is accurate.
‘The straw that stirs the drink” is now a cliché that has been used to describe situations where one person (other than Reggie Jackson) is the center of all attention.
Wikipedia: Reggie Jackson
Reginald Martinez “Reggie” Jackson (born May 18, 1946), nicknamed ”Mr. October” for his clutch hitting in the postseason, is a former American Major League Baseball right fielder who played for four different teams (twice for Oakland / Kansas City) from 1967 to 1987 and currently serves as a special advisor to the New York Yankees. Jackson helped win three consecutive World Series titles as a member of the Oakland A’s in the early 1970s and also helped win two consecutive titles with the New York Yankees. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1993. He now resides in Carmel, California.
The relationship between Jackson and his new teammates was strained due to an interview with SPORT magazine writer Robert Ward. During spring training at the Yankees’ camp in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Jackson and Ward were having drinks at a nearby bar. Jackson’s version of the story is that he noted that the Yankees had won the pennant the year before, but lost the World Series to the Reds, and suggested that they needed one thing more to win it all, and pointed out the various ingredients in his drink. Ward suggested that Jackson might be “the straw that stirs the drink.” But when the story appeared in the May 1977 issue of SPORT, Ward quoted Jackson as saying, “This team, it all flows from me. I’m the straw that stirs the drink. Maybe I should say me and Munson, but he can only stir it bad.”
the straw that stirs the drink
term used to describe the life of the party
Every party needs the straw that stirs the drink...
by sheila in the car Jun 22, 2009
Google News Archive
22 May 1977, Pittsburgh (PA) Press, ‘Scoreboard” by Pat Livingston, pg. D2, col. 6:
“No team I am on will be humiliated the way the Yankees were by the Reds in the World Series,” trumpets New York’s Reggie Jackson. “I’m the straw that stirs the drink.”
26 May 1977, New York (NY) Times, ‘Earn Those Pinstripes, Reggie” by Dave Anderson, pg. 88:
“I’m the straw that stirs the drink,” Reggie Jackson is quoted by Robert Ward in Sport magazine. “It all comes back to me. Maybe I should say me and Munson but really he doesn’t enter into it...Munson thinks he can be the straw that stirs the drink but he can only stir it bad.”
Google News Archive
22 June 1977, Spokane (WA) Spokesman-Review, “Buck stops with owner on Yankees” (AP), pg. 25, col. 1:
Jackson said Munson had been involved in personal feuds growing out of a derogatory remark about Munson in a magazine article, in which the outfielder said: ‘This team...it all flows from me. I am the straw that stirs the drink.”
20 October 1977, New York (NY) Times, ‘The Two Seasons of Reggie Jackson” by Dave Anderson, pg. 61:
“I got to get dressed,” he was saying now. “I told some people I’d meet them at 76th and Third.”
In that same East Side area, at a sidewalk talbe at King Arthur’s Court in July, he was sipping white wine and saying, “I’m still the straw that stirs the drink. Not Munson, not nobody else on this club.”
20 October 1977, New York (NY) Times “Yankees Center of Controversy and Adulation: Reginald Martinez Jackson” by Murray Chass, pg. B21, col.1:
His teammates did not accept him at first; then, just as Thurman Munson, the acknowledged team leader, had made a breakthrough, a magazine article appeared in which Jackson was quoted (accurately) as saying, “I’m the straw that stirs the drink. Munson thinks he can be the straw that stirs the drink, but he can only stir it bad.”
26 April 1982, New York magazine, pg. 91, col. 1:
Thurman and Reggie after the magazine article in which Reggie proclaimed himself, not Munson, the straw that stirs the drink. A teammate tells Munson that Jackson was quoted out of context. ”For three pages?” Munson responds “I couldn’t find enough adjectives about myself to fill three pages.”
New York (NY) Daily News
BY BILL MADDEN
Tuesday, April 15th 2003, 1:32AM
“You know this team ... it all flows from me. I’ve got to keep it going. I’m the straw that stirs the drink. Munson thinks he can be the straw but he can only stir it wrong.”
- Reggie Jackson in Sport Magazine in June 1977.
“Misquoted? For three (bleeping) pages?”
- Munson’s reply after Jackson insisted he’d been misquoted.
It’s Still Football
The Straw That Stirs the Drink, and Other Cliches
Date : June 30, 2007