After the era of free agency began in late 1975, the New York Yankees were the first team willing to spend the money to get the best players. One of the first players they signed was Jackson, already a five-time All-Star and three-time World Series champion with the Oakland Athletics.
Because of his high salary demands, Jackson was traded to the Baltimore Orioles in 1976. He played one year there, before signing a five-year contract for $2.96 million ($12,142,924 in today’s dollars) with the Yankees. While he his relationship with the team was tumultuous, the signing paid dividends. The Yankees won the World Series in 1977 and 1978, with Jackson earning the nickname “Mr. October” when he hit five runs in 1977 series.