My Heart Never Left: Edwin Jackson's Legacy and Community Impact in Columbus

My Heart Never Left: Edwin Jackson's Legacy and Community Impact in Columbus
Edwin Jackson and a Snapshot of the Teams He's Played on in the MLB

By Micahya Costen

Former Major League Baseball player Edwin Jackson expressed his love for Columbus, saying that his heart remained in the city while he left to play professionally. Jackson cherished his time growing up in Columbus and attending Shaw High School. Born in Germany as a military brat, he proudly claims Columbus as his hometown, where he spent most of his life.

"Now is the part where we get to give back to the community around me. I gave back while I was playing, too. But now is the part where I get to continue giving back and continue helping the community," Jackson said.

Edwin Jackson during 706 Day in 2023

One of the ways Jackson likes to give back is through 706 Day. The day is an event in Columbus to celebrate the community and the people involved.

"It was a lot more then for us as a younger generation to do than it is now. So we had a lot to stay, to keep our attention," Jackson said. "...Whether it was going to to the movies, or going bowling, whatever it may be... that's something that we can help our generation bring back to the city, something for the youth to do, hence why we do 706 Day as well. Shedding positivity on the city and giving the community something fun to do as a whole, coming together and sharing some positive light and having a fun day for everybody."

Entering its second year, 706 Day will feature vendors, games, meet-and-greets, and more, bringing the community together and aiming to grow annually. The event began when DJ Cash Flow invited others to join a committee to recreate the city's annual family day.

"He (Dj Cash Flow) was like, 'man, it's time we need something to do'...because there's a lot of crime and negativity around the city. You hear all the bad stories, but we wanted to shine a positive light on the city and something fun on a positive day. And he was like, 'man, we need a 706 day,'" Jackson said.

Last year's inaugural event was held on a different date due to a scheduling conflict, but this year, 706 Day will be celebrated on the actual date, making it more special and official. The event will showcase what the city has to offer for both youth and adults.

'Nothing goes out, nothing comes in,' is what Jackson's grandmother taught him. Keeping that instilled in him through the years has fueled that passion for Jackson to be a part of the growth in his community.

"It's just always trying to find ways to give back and never forget where I come from and never lose a sense of humility and understanding what's going on in the city. So for me, it's important. It's not about what you do when you're from the city, it's about how you contribute and what you do to help the city grow," Jackson said.

Edwin Jackson and the display of teams he's been a part of

Attendees can find Jackson at 706 Day enjoying the event with the community and his family in what he described as 'a big family reunion.' He hopes that the youth will be able to look up to him and surpass his levels of achievements as they grow into their own in sports, life and in the classroom.

" Everything starts in the classroom, get your grades...that's important because, without the grades, you can't do anything else. So that's first off, you got to handle business in school which is going to prepare you for being a great athlete," Jackson said.

Jackson's second piece of advice is to chase the dream instilled within oneself, and not let anyone deteriorate their progress.

"There are sacrifices that are going to come with it, and you have to be willing to make those sacrifices to succeed in whatever you want to do because it's going to take a lot of practice," Jackson said. "What you do when people aren't watching is more important than what you do when people are watching, because a lot to be the best is going to take extra work outside of the work that you are already doing as a team."

Driven by a passion for community growth and the joy of seeing his efforts benefit his children and the community, Jackson's selflessness represents true success.

"I love my city. I want to see my city do well. I want to see the community do well. If there's any way I can help. Help inspire the community. I'm always trying to do that. That's what it's about," Jackson said.

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