Saturday, June 4, 2011
#173 - Randy Jones
Randy Jones grew up in Brea, California and wanted to play for the Dodgers. He went undrafted out of high school though as two guys he played against - Steve Busby and Al Hrabosky - were snapped up. Randy then attended Chapman College where, due to an arm injury, he had to refine his pitching game from primarily heat to placed pitches. He was drafted and signed by the Padres in '72 and had a pretty quick rise up. By the end of that year he was in Double A and after a super start there in '73 he was moved up to San Diego. His move there was also helped by the sale of Fred Norman to the Reds that season, as the Padres needed a lefty starter to fill the gap. In going one game over .500 Randy set the then club record for winning percentage by a lefty and made the Topps team.
In '77 Jones began the season going 4-1 but the nerve damage wouldn't go away and he ended the year only 6-12 with a 4.58 ERA. For the next three seasons the ERA came back to earth but he went a combined 29-39 and after the '80 season he went to the Mets for a couple minor league pitchers. Things didn't improve in NY as Randy went a combined 8-18 in two seasons before being released. '82 was his last year and he finished things up with a record of 100-124 with a 3.42 ERA, 73 complete games, 19 shutouts, and two saves. In 305 career games he only gave up 503 walks.
After baseball, Randy moved around a bit career-wise. He did the real estate thing and also owned and ran a group of car washes. He then moved into food service and would travel worldwide seeking concessions on military bases. In the Nineties he returned to the Padres as a community rep and also opened a barbecue stand at the stadium. Away from that he has been running a baseball school - one of its graduates is Barry Zito - and does some radio work for the Padres.
The adjectives are flying in these star bullets. That's a cool cartoon. No wonder he had Dodger blue in his eyes.
This time we go all NL:
1. Jones and Jerry Morales '73 Padres;
2. Morales and Gene Clines '77 Cubs.