Sam Jones (jonessa01)
Samuel Pond Jones
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 170 lb.
- Debut June 13, 1914
- Final Game September 28, 1935
- Born July 26, 1892 in Woodsfield, OH USA
- Died July 6, 1966 in Barnesville, OH USA
Nicknamed "Sad Sam" because of his demeanor, Sam Jones pitched a record 22 straight years in the American League (a mark shared with Hall of Famers Herb Pennock, Red Ruffing, and Early Wynn). Despite winning 229 games (more than Jim Bunning, Hal Newhouser, Bob Lemon, and Catfish Hunter), he received minimal support for the Hall of Fame himself.
Jones reached the majors with the Cleveland Indians in 1914, and before the start of the 1916 campaign, he was traded to the Boston Red Sox in the deal that brought Tris Speaker to the Tribe. In 1918, he went 16-5, led the AL with a .762 winning percentage, and appeared in his first World Series. He threw a complete game but earned a loss in Game Five of the Fall Classic, but the Sox went on to defeat the Chicago Cubs in six games. He lost 20 games for Boston the following year, but in 1921, he won 23 while tossing an AL-best 5 shutouts.
Following the 1921 season, Jones was traded to the New York Yankees. Despite leading the American League with 8 saves, he was a .500 pitcher in his first year in the Big Apple, but the Yankees reached the 1922 World Series, falling to the crosstown New York Giants. The next year, he went 21-8 and hurled a no-hitter against the Philadelphia Athletics on September 4th. New York repeated as AL champs, and he earned the save in the sixth and final game as the Yankees defeated the Giants.
Prior to the 1927 season, Jones was traded to the St. Louis Browns, and less than a year later, he was sent to the Washington Senators. He won 17 games for the Senators in 1928 and went 15-7 for the club two years later. He was dealt to the Chicago White Sox following the 1931 campaign, and he ended his big league career after four years in Chicago.
Jones typically was not the league leader but he was often among the leaders, with a 121 score on the Gray Ink test which measures how often a player is in the top 10. Unlike his namesake the other Sam Jones, he was not a big strikeout pitcher, although in 1925 was fifth in the league in strikeouts.
The most similar pitcher to Jones is Joe Niekro, although two other pitchers on his list of similar players, Red Faber and Ted Lyons, are interesting comparisons. Faber broke in the same year as Jones, 1914, and both Faber and Lyons were teammates of Jones on the Chicago White Sox in the 1930s. Faber and Lyons had a few more victories and a slightly higher winning percentage than Jones, which is why they are in the Hall and he isn't.
Jones' major league career, from 1914 to 1935, was exactly the same years as those of Babe Ruth. He was also a teammate of Ruth, first from 1916 to 1919 with the Boston Red Sox, and then from 1922 to 1926 with the New York Yankees.
Following his playing days, Jones briefly served as a minor league manager, finishing the 1947 season at the helm of the Newark Moundsmen, a Class D affiliate of the Browns in the Ohio State League. The team finished in seventh place with an overall record of 64-76.
- AL Winning Percentage Leader (1918)
- AL Saves Leader (1922)
- AL Shutouts Leader (1921)
- 15 Wins Seasons: 6 (1918, 1921, 1923, 1925, 1928 & 1930)
- 20 Wins Seasons: 2 (1921 & 1923)
- 200 Innings Pitched Seasons: 8 (1919-1923, 1925, 1928 & 1932)
- Won three World Series with the Boston Red Sox (1916 & 1918; he did not play in the 1916 World Series) and the New York Yankees (1923)