Thursday, May 13, 2010
#424) BARRY JONES
Barry Jones came to the New York Mets when he signed as a free agent on August 14, 1992. The right-handed sinkerball pitcher had been released by the Philadelphia Phillies on July 29th. Mets' manager Jeff Torborg was familiar with Jones having managed him previously with the Chicago White Sox. Barry now joined a struggling New York club that eventually finished 24 games behind the front-running Pittsburgh Pirates in the National League Eastern Division. He would register a 2-0 record, with a 9.39 ERA in 17 appearances. Jones was granted free agency and signed with the Chicago White Sox on January 2, 1993. He would retire that next season.
"It all happened so fast," he explained. "I don't think I had anytime to stop and think. I was just fortunate enough to have the God-given ability to throw the baseball 90 mph and have it go where I wanted it to."
Barry was born in Centerville, Indiana, and they celebrated the fact on May 17, 2008. The former pitcher was invited back home to serve as the Grand Marshall of the Centerville Youth League Parade. "Barry grew up about three houses from the ball park and played there all the time," said Chuck Bryant, president of the CYL at that time. "So, when he comes back home in May, we're going to dedicate a diamond in his name."
After his baseball career, Jones began working in the construction industry. He was the project manager for Ionadi Corporation when they poured the concrete for the main concourse of PNC Park, the new home of the Pittsburgh Pirates. "I spent eight months down there," Barry recalled. "It was really cool. We had the entire main-level concourse. We would do 700-yard pours. It was quite interesting—a big project. I think our contract was $14 or 15 million." Which could place him as the only former major leaguer to later help build a stadium.
Barry Jones signed his card in the set for me through a private signing held by Badgley Promotions on April 9, 2010.