Chris Jones had some good company on the mound that day in Charleston, S.C. in 1986. But that company wasn't his opponent in the game - it was the guy who took the mound before him.
That good company was Hall of Famer Warren Spahn, who was scheduled to take the mound in a pre-game home run contest between the two teams, according to The Charleston News and Courier.
That night, Jones did his best not to give up home runs, trying to pitch his Blue Jays to victory. In the end, though, Jones' best wasn't enough to pitch himself to the major leagues, seeing time in eight seasons, but only getting as high as AAA.
Jones' career began in 1985, taken by the Blue Jays in the fourth round of the draft out of Ohio State University.
At Ohio State,Jones posted a 3.47 ERA in 1983. He played for the Buckeyes from 1983 to 1985.
With the Blue Jays, Jones started at rookie Medicine Hat, getting 10 starts, but no wins. For 1986, he moved to single-A Florence and short-season St. Catharines. At Florence, he only picked up one win to seven losses. At St. Catharines, Jones went a better 7-4.
Jones had his best win total in his third campaign, at single-A Dunedin. He went 11-6, with a 2.63 ERA in 25 starts.
Jones moved up to AA Knoxville for 1988, getting 35 outings, 22 starts. He went 6-9, with a 4.28 ERA.
Jones returned to Knoxville for 1989, but he also got more relief work. in 39 outings, he got just 10 starts. He also had a 3.35 ERA.
In 1990, Jones was a full-time reliever. At Knoxville, he got 35 outings, with a 5.33 ERA. He also got 10 outings at AAA Syracuse, giving up nine earned runs in 20.1 innings of work.
Jones ended up playing in two more seasons. He started 1991 back at Knoxville, before moving mid-season to the Dodger system and AAA Albuquerque. He played his final games in 1992, with the Cardinals at AAA Louisville, ending his career.
- Charleston News and Courier, June 1, 1986: Jays belt 'Bows