BALTIMORE (WJZ) — There’s no doubt that Adam Jones is a Baltimore Orioles legend.
In franchise history, Jones ranks fifth in home runs and hits, sixth in RBI and ninth in games played. But on Tuesday, Jones said his playing career is most likely behind him.
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In a heartfelt article he wrote for the Player’s Tribune titled “My Next Chapter,” Jones shared memories of his time overseas playing in Japan as well as his 14-year career in Major League Baseball. But it’s his 11 seasons in Baltimore that still hold a special place in the Orioles clubhouse.
Jones’ article revolved around a homer he swung last Thanksgiving with the Orix Buffaloes in Japan – the last time he swung a bat as a pro.
“It was just pure, unadulterated joy,” he wrote, describing his family’s and team’s reaction to how he broke the tie game against the Yakult Swallows. “I can still see that scene in perfect clarity if I close my eyes.”
Jones recounted how lucky he felt over his career, including the “pure magic” he experience with the Orioles for 11 “majestic” years.
His recent stint in Japan has been particularly special, he said, because of how his family grew together during the COVID-19 pandemic in a foreign country. He also described intense training in Japan, where every day is “like the most focused spring training practice of the year.”
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But his discipline and consistency didn’t come from practicing in Japan – he has always had it, according to his former teammate.
“His day-to-day routine, he was a very consistent player, a very consistent person,” Orioles centerfielder Cedric Mullins said. “Each and every day he was the same guy, it was really hard to tell if he was having bad days. That’s some of the things I try to follow.”
“He had an absolutely incredible career and I’m really proud of him.”
Current #Orioles @cedmull30 and @TreyMancini share the impact that @SimplyAJ10 had and still has on the O’s clubhouse as #10 says his playing career is probably over. #Birdland @wjz @MarkWJZ pic.twitter.com/vbCG9VPM53
— WJZ Sports (@WJZ13sports) May 17, 2022
Jones was the consistent leader for the Orange and Black during a time that saw the team return to the postseason for the first time in 14 seasons with trips in 2012, 2014 and 2016, making it all the way to the American League Championship Series in 2014.
The current leader of the O’s, Trey Mancini, had a front-row seat and said he is grateful for everything he learned from Jones.
“He’s somebody that even before I got drafted I looked up to”, Mancini said. “Just the ultimate professional, great leader, he had an absolutely incredible career and I’m really proud of him.”
“I’d love to keep playing. I really would,” Jones said in the article. “But if my time has indeed come to an end, and that last blast against Yakult is indeed my swan song, you know what… I’m good with that.”
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