Former Cincinnati Reds bullpen coach and minor-league pitching coach Grant "Buck" Jackson, the winning pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1979 World Series who also pitched for the Philadelphia Phillies, Baltimore Orioles, New York Yankees, Montreal Expos and Kansas City Royals, died Tuesday at age 78 of COVID-19 complications, the Pirates announced.
"This pandemic has affected every family throughout our community, and the Pirates family is no different," Pirates President Travis Williams said in a statement. "As the winning pitcher for the Pirates in Game 7 of the 1979 World Series, Grant was a World Series Champion and All-Star, who remained dedicated to the Pirates and the City of Pittsburgh since his retirement in 1982. He was an active board member of our Alumni Association who was always willing to help make an impact in our community. More so than any on-field accomplishment, Grant was a proud family man. Our sincere condolences and support go to his wife Millie (Milagro), his children Debra, Yolanda and Grant Jr., as well as his 10 grandchildren. He will be missed."
Jackson was the Reds' bullpen coach in 1994 and 1995. He also worked as a pitching coach for Reds' minor-league affiliates in Chattanooga, Indianapolis and Louisville for several seasons.
Former members of the Reds' organization - including Sean Casey, who said Jackson was "like a second father to me" growing up in Pittsburgh - were among those offering tributes to Jackson via social media:
More from post-gazette.com's Jason Mackey, including reaction from Cincinnati native and former Reds reliever Kent Tekulve:
Kent Tekulve will never forget the candid conversations and the questions Grant Jackson would ask. John Candelaria appreciated the reliever's punctuality, as the two southpaws grew inseparable during their time together with the Pirates.
Tekulve and Candelaria loved Jackson for what he did on and off the field, and both — along with the rest of the Pirates family — were saddened to learn that Jackson died early Tuesday at Canonsburg Hospital due to complications involving COVID-19. Jackson, of Upper St. Clair, was 78.
“He never got enough credit for what he added to our ballclub,” Tekulve said of Jackson, who was the winning pitcher in Game 7 of the 1979 World Series. “It’s just a sad, sad day.”
The Fostoria, Ohio, native was nearly unhittable in the 1979 postseason, as he gave the Pirates six scoreless appearances (6⅔ innings pitched) during the National League Championship Series and the World Series.
“Winning Game  of the 1979 World Series was my biggest thrill in baseball, no doubt,” Jackson told Ron Musselman, formerly of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette and Toledo Blade, in 2005. “People from that era here in Pittsburgh still remember it like it was yesterday.”
Jackson, a relief pitcher for most of his career, posted an 86-75 record and 3.46 ERA over 18 MLB seasons. He was an All-Star for the Phillies in 1969.
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