A Texas Christian University football player, Jackson played in the 1945 and '46 Cotton Bowls. He hit 19, 19, and 21 homers in 1953-55 with the Cubs. In 1955 he led NL third basemen in double plays. The Dodgers traded Walt Moryn, Don Hoak
, and Russ Meyer to the Cubs for Jackson and pitcher Don Elston
in expectation that the slugger would succeed Jackie Robinson
at third base, but after a serious knee injury in 1957, Jackson never again played regularly.