Some of the Top Cards of 1976

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

1976 Topps #310 - Randy Jones




  • Randy "Junkman" Jones pitched for the San Diego Padres and the New York Mets from 1973-1982. He was drafted by the Padres in 1972. Randy pitched in the minors in 1972 and part of 1973. After going 8-1 with a 2.01 ERA in 10 starts for AA Alexandria, Jones was brought up in mid-June of 1973. In 19 starts Randy was 7-6 with a 3.16 ERA in 1973.
  • Jones had a rough go of it in 1974. He was 8-22 with an ERA of 4.45 in 34 starts. The 22 losses led the NL. He appeared six more times in relief and picked up two saves.
  • Randy turned it around in a big way in 1975. He was the Comeback Player of the Year, was on the NL All Star team, was 2nd in Cy Young Award voting, and 10th in MVP voting. Jones was 20-12 with a league-leading 2.24 ERA in 36 starts. Randy pitched the 9th inning of the All Star game and didn't allow any runs. The NL was leading 6-3 at the time, but Randy just got a "hold" instead of a save. Randy Jones Pitches Early But the Ball Comes Late -- Baseball Digest December 1975
  • In 1976 Jones had his best year. He was the NL Cy Young winner and was 10th in MVP voting again. Randy led the NL in wins (22), starts (40), complete games (25), and innings (315.1). He was 22-14 with a 2.74 ERA. Jones started the 1976 All Star Game and was the winning pitcher (0 runs in 3 innings). Randy Jones: The Sinkerball is His Ticket to Fame -- Baseball Digest August 1976
  • Jones injured a nerve in his pitching arm in 1977 and wasn't quite the same pitcher after that. He was out for six weeks from mid-June to late July. The nerve injury bothered him periodically for the rest of his career. In 1977 Randy was 6-12 with a 4.58 ERA in 25 starts.
  • Randy came back to have a pretty good year in 1978. He was 13-14 with a 2.88 ERA in 36 starts. The 1978 Padres were the only winning team he would ever pitch for. In 1979 Jones was 11-12 with a 3.63 ERA in 39 starts.
  • Jones missed a month in 1980 (mid June to mid July) and struggled to a 5-13 record with a 3.94 ERA in 24 starts. After the 1980 season Jones was traded to the New York Mets for John Pacella and Jose Moreno. In 1981 Randy was hurt again and pitched only twice after June 10 (and in both of those September games he got hammered). He went 1-8 with a 4.85 ERA in 12 starts.
  • In 1982 Randy's starts ran hot and cold. He failed to get out of the third inning in eight of his 20 starts, but pitched well in most of his other starts. Jones ended up 7-10 with a 4.60 ERA in 28 games (20 starts). After the 1982 season Jones was released by the Mets. He signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates but was released during spring training in 1983.
  • After his career Jones worked in real estate and managed a chain of car washes in San Diego. He then moved into the food commissary business and opened up a barbecue at Qualcomm Stadium. He has his own brand of barbecue sauce (see his official site). Jones also conducts baseball clinics during the summer. His most famous pupil from the baseball camps is Barry Zito. Randy also hosts a radio show in southern California and has his own fishing show, Randy Jones' Strike Zone, on the Outdoor Channel.
  • May 1998 Baseball Digest "Where are they now" article
  • Here is a "Where are they now" Baseball Digest article from August 2001.
  • Link to a Randy Jones interview done in 2010.
  • Liked to face: Pete Rose (.183 in 93 AB); Darrell Chaney (.043 in 23 AB); Richie Hebner (.107 in 28 AB). I mention Mr. Rose because in the Baseball Digest article Jones mentions that Rose and Greg Luzinski used to yell at Jones to stop throwing that (expletive) and throw some fastballs. Jones rarely exceeded 80 mph on his pitches.
  • Hated to face: Steve Henderson (.556 in 18 AB); John Stearns (.522 in 23 AB); Larry Parrish (.487 in 39 AB)

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