LOS ANGELES – The best team in the American League is signing a franchise legend one last time.
The Baltimore Orioles announced that former outfielder Adam Jones would sign a one-day contract with the team to officially retire as an Oriole. The team announced that they would be having a ceremony on September 15th before their game against the Rays to commemorate Jones and his 11 seasons that he wore the O’s across his chest.
Jones ranks among the top 10 in Orioles history in games played (1,613), hits (1,781), homers (263), doubles (305), RBIs (866) and runs scored (875).
Adam Jones Was An MLBbro All-Star
During his tenure from 2008-2018 playing his home games at Camden Yards, Jones had a .279/.319/.459 slashline and didn’t miss a single game during the 2012 season.
The 5x All-Star, 3x Gold Glove winner and 2013 Silver Slugger award winner played 14 seasons. He produced a .277 batting average, 282 Bro bombs, 945 RBI, and had 1,937 hits. Jones had many memorable moments as the party starter for the Orioles’ offense, but his proudest moment happened as a member of Team USA in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.
It was another watershed moment as MLBbros led the way for USA Baseball’s first championship. Behind the superior pitching of Marcus Stroman, the clutch hitting of Andrew McCutchen and “The Catch” by Jones that will forever live in baseball lore, USA defeated DR in the semis and PR in the finals for sweet victory.
There Was Much More Than WBC Glory
The 38-year-old Jones was selected with the 37th pick in the 2003 MLB draft by the Seattle Mariners, originally drafted as a shortstop and a pitcher out of Samuel F.B. Morse High School in San Diego, California. He made the transition to the outfield when the Mariners acquired Yuniesky Betancourt, and made his MLB debut with the team on July 14th, 2006.
Jones spent a season and a half in the Pacific Northwest, and then was traded along with four other pitchers to Baltimore in exchange for left-handed pitcher Érik Bédard. He didn’t see his first postseason action until 2012, when they beat the Texas Rangers in the Wild Card game, eventually losing to the New York Yankees in the fifth and final game of the divisional series.
The furthest Jones ever made it in his quest for the World Series was the ALCS in 2014 when they were the second seed in the AL, taking out the Tigers in the divisional series, and eventually being swept in the ALCS by the Kansas City Royals.
After his final season with the Orioles, Jones signed a one-year contract worth $3 million with the Arizona Diamondbacks, where he had a .260/.313/.414 slashline. He then played two seasons in the Japanese baseball league with the Orix Buffaloes, with his last baseball game being played in 2021.
Adam Jones Was A Voice For Black Ballplayers
Besides his terrific career on the field, he was very active voice off the field. He’s been a huge voice in speaking out against systemic and overt racism in the game, as he had multiple occasions where fans yelled racist remarks and threw objects at him. He understood during his time that there weren’t too many Black players and that Black fans were underrepresented. Jones conducted himself with class and dignity, providing a serious, gritty and professional element to the locker room. The dynamic elements of his all-around game did most of the talking for him.
He has also been very active with the Players Alliance, whose goal is to help create paths and opportunities to diversify baseball from the youth onward. The organization includes several retired and current players like Mookie Betts, Aaron Judge, Tim Anderson, just to name a few. So while he may not be a voice as a current MLB player, he still makes sure to contribute and help change the game today. Jones is also one of the veteran presences in the game that has inspired the next generation of MLBbros.
Ending his career as a Buffalo was not the ending that neither Jones nor Baltimore wanted. They both knew he needed to retire as an Oriole. So while his days of hitting and robbing home runs may be over, September 15th will be a day to give one final reminder to baseball fans everywhere what an outstanding all-around player and class act Adam Jones was.