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Bo Knows Business?


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Much had been made of his athletic prowess, but it looks like Bo Jackson had done quite well for himself in his life after athletics.




This quote could have been uttered by a young Warren Buffett:

“I’m learning something new every day. I’m eager to learn,” he said. “I’m also learning that if you don’t watch yourself you can be taken advantage of quickly in the business world. The thing I try to do is surround myself with smart, astute business people and that seems to help out a great deal.”


He played in Chicago for the White Sox after his hip replacement and, though he was certainly not in his prime, he was still amazing. I'll never forget his catching a ball flat footed in medium-deep right field, taking one stride and throwing a ball that got MAYBE 10 feet off of ground that made it to third base on a dead fly nailing a baserunning making an ill-advanced attempt to advance on a fly out by 2 steps. The  announcers were speechless, literally. And, again he had a prosthetic hip! The dude was amazing and always seemed classy...am very glad he is seeing success after sports....seems to be the antithisis of Len Dykstra.




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Crip...thanks for the memories.  I remember the throw he made from the base of the wall in left field to home plate -- ON THE FLY-- over 370 feet to nail Harold Reynolds at the plate -- superhuman.


Here's a great clip of Harold Reynolds getting a little ribbing on the subject.  Click on the embedded video in the third post in this link (give it a bit and you'll get to see the throw...though I wish the camera work was a bit better):




He was and still is the most amazing all-around athlete I've ever seen.  He's the last pro running back I can remember where he regularly was pitched the ball to the outside with no lead blockers -- just Bo and the open field.  I've seen it done a few times but they did it with Bo on a regular basis and the other team new it was coming and no one could catch him.


And, of course, if anyone did get in his way....well, he'd run you over....Boz on Monday Night Football.  Great memories!




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Yeah, the stories go on and on. A buddy of mine was at a game where Bo hit a popup...the shortstop faded back, then started running back, then stopped and looked out towards left field. The ball landed in the seats a couple rows back. He hit the ball so hard that it just carried out to the seats. And, yes, this was when he had a prosthetic hip and was past his prime.


As well, he was universally well liked by his teammates. If anyone had the right to be cocky and arrogant, he did. But there are few, if any accounts, of Bo being arrogant or cocky.


Humility, more than anything else, likely accounts for his success in business after sports. Now, it is true that if someone with the status of Bo Jackson were to go out selling industrial cleaners for example, he would make some good coin because what sports-loving purchasing agent would not like to buy from Bo? He could still be a commercial endorser for candy bars, laundry detergent, what have you. That would be easy. But, part owner of a bank? I would argue that the two biggest factors in his success as an athlete and as a businessman are his work ethic and his humility. These happen to be two very common traits amongst great value investors. While aptitude and education are contributing factors, those factors are additive, where work ethic and humility are multipliers. Few of us will ever replicate his feats on the athletic field, but it is worth striving for a better work ethic and a sense of humility at every chance.



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