Traveling man Jackson lands a World Series start

By Larry Fine

ARLINGTON, Texas (Reuters) - Traveling man Edwin Jackson hopes to make his mark in the World Series when he takes the mound for his first Fall Classic start Sunday when his St. Louis Cardinals face the Texas Rangers.

Jackson made his Major League Baseball debut as a 19-year-old pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2003 and despite his obvious talent has been a man on the move so far in his nine-year career.

The 28-year-old right-hander is pitching for his sixth major league team, having joined St. Louis after a July trade.

There was a seventh team involved too, as the Toronto Blue Jays acquired Jackson from the Chicago White Sox as the trade deadline neared and dealt him later that day to the Cardinals.

Jackson went 5-2 with a 3.58 earned run average for St. Louis, helping the Cardinals in their comeback charge for the National League wild card spot.

This trade has landed Jackson right in the middle of the World Series as he starts Game Four against Derek Holland.

"It's definitely a good feeling," he said Saturday. "You know, it's not always the easiest being bounced around, but at the end of the day you still have an opportunity to play.

"Most of my trades have been midseason where I have an opportunity to play for a team that has a chance to go to the championship. It didn't happen, but this time it did and it definitely makes the trade worthwhile to me."

Jackson has had an entire life on the move, and could end up with another address as he is a free agent at the end of the season.

He was born in Neu-Ulm, West Germany, to a U.S. Army cook, moved to the United States and returned to Germany for a few years before coming back to the U.S. for good, living in Louisiana, Alabama and Georgia.

The trend continued in baseball. In a sport where players are often associated with their uniform numbers, Jackson has worn five different ones, now sporting No. 22 on his back for the first time after previous tours with the Dodgers, Rays, Tigers, Diamondbacks and White Sox.

That is not to say Jackson's major league career has been without personal satisfaction.

He has won 10 or more games in each of the last four seasons, was a 2009 All-Star for Detroit, and pitched two innings of relief in the 2008 World Series for Tampa Bay.

"This is my first time having a start in the World Series," he said. "I've pitched out of the bullpen before and just to even have that chance is overwhelming and it was definitely a lot of fun.

"I mean, we have guys in the locker room, 19, 17 years in who have never been to a World Series, and me even to have an opportunity to be twice is maybe something that will never happen again."

"I'm definitely going to take advantage of it and do my best and leave it on the field."

(Editing by Steve Ginsburg)