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Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Bobby Jones made bigs, then helped get others there as minors manager

Bobby Jones got the September call to the Rangers and he made the most of it early on, The Fort Worth Star-Telegram wrote.

In one early September game, he knocked in all three Texas runs, two on a home run, The Star-Telegram wrote.

"I didn't even expect to be called up," Jones told The Star-Telegram afterward. "When I was here before, I never got a chance to play."

Jones hit that home run in the fifth season in which he had seen the bigs. He went on to see four more. Later, he worked to get others called up as a minor league manager and stay there as a major league coach.

Jones' long career in baseball began in 1967, taken by the then-Washington Senators in the 36th round of the draft out of Dawson County High School in Georgia. Jones was also credited as Bob Jones.

Jones started with the Rangers at short-season Geneva. He then spent five seasons at single-A, then saw AAA Denver in 1972. 

In between, in 1970, Jones served in Vietnam

"We had guys killed with three weeks to go in-country," Jones recalled to The Star-Telegram in 2003, as he managed at AAA Oklahoma. "I was one of the lucky ones. I never got a scratch the whole time I was over there."

After his return, he got back to playing. He first made Texas in 1974, for two games, then nine more in 1976. He had one of his best seasons in 1976, with the Angels. He saw 78 games and hit .211.

He played 1979 and 1980 in Japan, with Chunichi, then continued stateside. He saw 83 games and hit .224 in 1985. His last big league time coming with the Rangers with 13 games in 1986. 

By 1988, he was back in the minors, as manager at high-A Port Charlotte. He stayed there three seasons, then moved to AA Tulsa for 1991. In 1990 and part of 1991, he watched over future Hall of Fame catcher Ivan Rodriguez.

After Rodriguez' June 1991 call-up, Jones gave a glowing assessment of the young Pudge's work as a player.

"The other managers are all ranting and raving about him," Jones told The Star-Telegram. "If anybody steals, it's off the pitcher, not Pudge."

Jones moved up to AAA Oklahoma City for 1993 and 1994, then saw six more seasons managing at Tulsa. In May 2000, he returned to the majors as a Rangers coach, and back with Rodriguez.

"He's been in the organization a long time. It's good to see him get a chance," Rodriguez told The Star-Telegram then. "He knows a lot about the game. He helped me a lot. He taught me a lot about baseball. He's a great guy."

Jones saw 2001 back with the Rangers, then 11 of the next 12 seasons managing AAA. He then returned to the majors as an assistant hitting coach. He's most recently credited as Rangers replay coordinator in 2017.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,954
Made the Majors:1,320-33.4%-X
Never Made Majors:2,634-66.6%
5+ Seasons in the Majors:539
10+ Seasons in the Minors:329

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