Jones was speaking in 2005 of his new group of college players, as he served as a coach with the collegiate league Athens Pirates, in Athens, Ga., welcoming in a new season.
"They all want to get better, and they all have that same dream (of professional baseball)," Jones told The Banner-Herald that June. "It is a common dream with guys this age."
For Jones, it was a dream he realized for nine total seasons. He even made the majors, for all of 16 games as a September call-up with the Orioles in 1986.
Jones' professional career began in 1980, taken by the Orioles in the 15th round, a product of the University of West Georgia and Chipola College.
Jones started out at rookie Bluefield, hitting .276 in 59 games. He then jumped to AA Charlotte for 1981, hitting .261, with 11 home runs.
For 1982, Jones had made it all the way to AAA Rochester, but hit .230. Though he moved up quickly to Rochester, he didn't make Baltimore for four more seasons.
He played 1983 back at Rochester, then a shortened 1984 largely back there. For 1985, he took a step back to AA Charlotte, hitting .280 there.
For 1986, though, Jones returned to Rochester. In September, he made Baltimore. In 16 total games for the Orioles down the stretch, Jones picked up six hits in 33 at bats.
In the Sept. 12 game, Jones gave the Orioles an early lead with a run-scoring, two-out double. He also picked up an RBI in an October game. In all, he knocked in four during his major league stint.
After that run, Jones returned to the minors for 1987, to AA Charlotte. Soon, he was with the Twins, at AAA Portland. Jones, though, never returned to the majors. He played one more season at Portland, ending his playing career.
Jones then finished out his professional career with a stint as a coach in the Phillies organization, at single-A Spartanburg.
- Athens Banner-Herald, June 1, 2005: Jones, Pirates ready to raid the SCBL
Players/Coaches Featured: 929
Made the Majors: 616 - 66.4%
Never Made Majors: 313-33.6%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors: 275
10+ Seasons in the Minors: 164