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Earl Jones

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Earl Leslie Jones (Lefty)

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When left-hander Earl Jones took the mound as a nineteen-year-old pitcher for the Bisbee Bees of the class D Arizona-Texas League in 1938, it would be the start of a fifteen-year pitching career that would span three decades from his first pitch until his last, in 1954. After finishing the first season with a 6-5 record in 15 games, Earl was signed as an amateur free agent by the St. Louis Browns and assigned to the Beaver Falls Bees of the class D Pennsylvania State Association for the 1939 season.

It took Earl seven seasons (1938-1944) in the minors before he reached Sportsman's Park and the St. Louis Browns in 1945 and he made some good marks on the way. He had five double-digit win years, his first coming in 1939 when he went 15-7 and led the league with 205 K's and made the All-Star team. In 1942, he threw a 17-11 number at the class C Canadian-American League and led that league also in strikeouts with 222. Earl went 10-6 with the Toledo Mud Hens of the American Association with 122 strikeouts in 144 innings in 1944 and he was due in Sportsman's Park the following year.

For whatever the reason, possibly the winning of their first, last and only American League Pennant in 1944 and then losing the 1944 World Series to their cross-town rival Cardinals, the Browns sent Jones to the Toledo Mud Hens. This seemed to upset his rhythm and things did not go well for Earl - appearing in only three games for Toledo, he lost his only decision and the Browns did not bring him up until July 6, 1945 and he had a no-decision in his debut. He pitched his final game on September 10, his last of ten appearances, still with no decisions but a good 2.54 ERA. This was the end of Earl's time in the show.

Earl didn't quit, he spent seven more seasons in the minors, two with Toledo, three with the Oakland Oaks and one with the Fresno Cardinals in 1951. He coached for two seasons and his last active work was in 1954 with the Visalia Cubs where he had his last victory of his 15-year-run. During this period, Earl still managed to have two more double-digit win seasons, going 13-6 for the Oakland Oaks in 1948, helping the team and manager Casey Stengel to the Pacific Coast League pennant and Play-off Championship. The left-hander finished out his long run in the minors with 119-99 record for a .546 winning percentage while appearing in 353 games.

Earl spent some fifty years in baseball as a player, coach and scout and for twenty years was an engineer for the Fresno, California Fire Department. He passed away on January 24, 1989 at the Saint Agnes Hospital in Fresno, CA from lung cancer and a heart attack. Earl Leslie Jones was seventy years of age.

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