Saturday, March 19, 2011
#306) ROSS JONES
Ross Jones joined the New York Mets when he was traded from the Los Angeles Dodgers along with Sid Fernandez in exchange for Bob Bailor and Carlos Diaz on December 8, 1983. He had spent his entire time with the Dodgers in their minor-league system, but made the Mets roster out of spring training camp. New York purchased his contract from Triple-A Tidewater the same day they also added Dwight Gooden from that club.
Jones was the third shortstop on a team that also featured Jose Oquendo and Ron Gardenhire. So most of his appearances came as a pinch-runner or pinch-hitter. His big-league debut came in a Mets uniform on opening day, April 2, 1984. Ross came off the bench to pinch-hit during the 8-1 loss to the Reds in Cincinnati. His bigger moment came at Shea Stadium on August 28th. A hitless Jones came to the plate in the ninth inning of a tie game against Philadelphia. The Phillies had their closer, Al Holland on the mound. "Everyone thought I was overmatched," remembers Ross. Instead he delivered a walk-off game winning double to left field. "Great feeling," Jones said. " To be carried off the field and Mets fans going crazy." His first major-league hit would be his only one in a Mets uniform.
Ross was optioned back to the Tidewater Tides soon afterward. Finding his way back to New York for a few more days in July, but finishing the season in Triple-A. In total he appeared in 17 games for the Mets with only seven of those on defense. Jones spent all of 1985 in the minors before being released on February 7, 1986. He would later play in the majors for both the Seattle Mariners and Kansas City Royals before retiring from baseball in 1988.
Jones began a second career after leaving the game. He became a key grip in the motion picture industry. A key grip is the chief supervisor of a union crew responsible for moving lights, dolly tracks, cranes and scenery. Ross is listed in the credits of films like, Up In The Air and King Kong. As well as episodes of the television series, CSI:Miami.
Ross Jones signed his card in the set from an autograph request sent to his home on March 17, 2011. Adding the inscription of "April 28, 1984 - Shea Stadium" in celebration of his greatest Mets moment.