Ozzie knows Bo and a good cause

MIAMI — Nothing Bo Jackson does surprises Ozzie Guillen.

Jackson, the legendary football and baseball star, was a former teammate of Guillen with the White Sox.

Bo Jackson biked across Alabama.

A Heisman Trophy winner out of Auburn, Jackson recently biked 300 miles through tornado ravaged communities in his home state, Alabama.

The “Bo Bikes Bama” campaign was done to raise money for the Governor’s Emergency Relief Fund.

“It doesn’t surprise,” Guillen said. “Bo Jackson has done a lot of things for the community for a long time. He helped a lot of people. I think that’s a brilliant idea. He likes to ride. Why not ride for a reason? It’s a great reason.

“He’s from there. He loves his people. His name is big enough to make things better. The [people] aren’t seeing Bo Jackson the athlete. They’re seeing Bo Jackson the human being. They’re seeing the Bo Jackson who cares about his [state]. He does a lot of stuff out there without people noticing.”   In the early 1990s, Guillen spent time rehabbing with Jackson, who overcame hip replacement surgery in football and continued playing baseball.

At the time, Guillen was rehabbing his knees.

“Obviously, his work out was more intense than mine,” the Marlins manager said. “This guy is amazing. This guy does a lot of great things.”

Jackson was a remarkable athlete who possessed great size and speed. He was the first athlete to be named an NFL and MLB All-Star.

“Talent. Heart. Brains,” Guillen said. “This guy has got everything you can ask for. A great man.”

For those who don’t remember Jackson as a player, Guillen sums his skills up in one word.

“Wow!” the manager said. “He could have been a superstar. Unfortunately, his health didn’t let him do it. I think this guy had all the tools to be a complete player. Bo had pure crazy power. I think that helped him to develop very quick.”

The last time Guillen saw Jackson was a year ago at Spring Training in Arizona. Jackson would visit the White Sox camp when Guillen managed in Chicago.

“You don’t see many like him,” Guillen said. “Everything he does, he takes pride, and he wants to be the best. That’s what makes him so special.”

Joe Frisaro


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