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Old 10-12-2018, 08:57 PM   #8
BirdWatcher
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Let's take a look at Hall-of-Famer Cleon Jones.
Jones admittedly did not have sure-thing HOF credentials. His career was a bit short at 14 seasons, largely due to a series of injuries, including a few concussions during the 1984 season, some recurring back issues, and finally, at the age of 37, a torn quadriceps muscle. But the fact is that his major league career was over long before that, as with declining performance he played minimally at the major league level in 1986-1987 and for the last three years of his professional career played only at AAA. An odd ending to what would eventually turn out to be a HOF career.

It did start well though, as Jones was awarded the American League Rookie-of-the-Year honor at age 20 in 1974. Playing for the Kansas City Royals, who signed him as the 7th pick overall in the 1972 draft, he had one of the biggest highlights of his career in 1978, as he led his team to the Championship, including being named the World Series MVP. A few other highlights for Jones: a 34-game hitting streak in his rookie season, a 32-game hitting streak and a 21-game hitting streak in 1980, and another hitting streak of 23 games in 1981. He also hit for the cycle on 08/27/1979. His best year as Royal was also his final season with his original team, as he led the league in batting average (.377), hits (241), doubles (52), and WAR (9.8) in the 1980 season and then, as a Free Agent, signed a 7-year 9.26M contract with the Cleveland Indians. Things got off to a good start with his new team, also, and Jones won his lone league MVP award in 1982. But the last three seasons of this contract saw the Indians get very little value out of the HOF rightfielder.

It took six tries, but in 1998 Jones was elected to the HOF with just enough votes (75.3%) along with Warren Spahn (85.1%) and Felipe Alou (75.0%).

And that, in a nutshell, is the story of Cleon Jones, Hall-of-Famer!
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Last edited by BirdWatcher; 10-12-2018 at 08:59 PM.
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