Ron Jackson was born on October 22, 1933 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He was a good player from an early age, playing neighborhood ball with 14 or 15-year-old boys when he was just 10 years old. At the age of 12, he went into American Legion baseball.

While a student at Kalamazoo Central High, he starred in basketball and the team won three consecutive Class-A titles. He played American Legion baseball and after graduation from high school, for the Sutherland Paper team he’d enjoyed watching as a boy. 

Right from the beginning, Ron always played first base exclusively. As early as the age of 15, he was being watched by scouts from a number of teams while he played on the Maroons, the tournament team of the American Legion. His Legion team won the National Baseball Congress tournament at Battle Creek, Michigan, twice, in 1949 and 1951

He went on to attend Western Michigan University and made the varsity as a freshman. After finishing his junior year (.340 BA), he decided to go play baseball in Halifax, Nova Scotia, for the summer. As Ron prepared to take the train to Halifax in June, he was talked him into coming to Comiskey Park for a workout. He hit 15 or 20 pitches out of the park, so the Chicago White Sox blew him away with an offer he couldn’t refuse. He signed on June 15, 1954 and saw action that very same day.

By season’s end, he had appeared in 40 games, accumulating 93 at-bats, and hit for a .280 average. He’d struck out almost as often as he’d hit safely, though. In 1955, he hit only .203 for the year, with two homers and seven RBIs but, as a bonus baby, the White Sox couldn’t send him to the minors.

In 1956, he hit .250 during 16 games in May, and was optioned to the Vancouver Mounties in June. His year-end major-league average was .214.

He’d started slowly in 1957, hitting .250 in eight spring training games, and was disappointed to be sent to the Indianapolis Indians right at the end of spring training. He flourished in Indy, hitting 21 homers with an average of .310 and 102 runs batted in. He was the starting first baseman on the American Association All-Star team and was named the game’s MVP. He appeared in only 13 September call-up games. 

Walt Dropo, Jackson, and Earl Torgeson were all in the running for the first-base post and a January 1958. Ron ended up hitting .233 for the year with a major-league career high 146 at-bats, with seven homers and 21 RBIs. 

In 1959, Earl Torgeson beat out all the other contenders for the first-base job and Ron was optioned to Indianapolis. He got off to a hot start with Indianapolis, but soon started slumping and seeing his fielding suffer as well. In time he recovered, started hitting, and again became the starting first baseman for the American Association All-Star team. He saw very brief duty with the major-league club: six games in April and May, and four hitless games in September.

The White Sox then swapped their former bonus baby to the Red Sox for Boston’s bonus baby, pitcher Frank Baumann. Neither player had really panned out as hoped for and the Red Sox were still seeking the elusive right-handed slugging first baseman, that they hadn’t had since  Jimmie Foxx

In the offseason, Ron began to work in the insurance business back home in Kalamazoo. He went back to college over three different years and in early 1960 finished the course work for his degree at Western Michigan. He majored in teaching, but though he got his degree, he never began in that field, instead joining an insurance company.

Early in 1960 spring training, Ron was hurt, though it was kept quiet. The Bosox actually settled rather quickly on  Vic Wertz who did the trick, driving in 103 runs. Ron got into only 10 games and was gone in May, traded to the Milwaukee Braves. He had been hitting .226 at the time of the trade and he didn’t know it yet, but he’d played his last major-league game.

The Braves assigned him to the Louisville Colonels farm club, and he hit rather well, with a couple of home runs and a number of RBIs in the very first week. The Braves sent him to finish out the season with Indianapolis and he hit .290 that year. He hit .265 for Louisville in 1961, with 25 home runs and helped win the Little World Series.

The Houston Colt .45s had their first season in 1962 and Ron was picked up in the draft as they were looking to build their roster. He had the insurance business available to him, so he called it a day after Houston assigned him to their Oklahoma City 89ers club in November. 

After a bout with pancreatic cancer, Ron Jackson died on July 6, 2008 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He was 74 years old.