Ruppert Jones

Ruppert Sanderson Jones (born March 12, 1955) is a former Major League Baseball center fielder. He was the first player selected in the 1976 Major League Baseball expansion draft by the Seattle Mariners.[1]

Ruppert Jones
Ruppert Jones 1978
Jones in 1978
Center fielder
Born: March 12, 1955 (age 64)
Dallas, Texas
Batted: Left Threw: Left
MLB debut
August 1, 1976, for the Kansas City Royals
Last MLB appearance
October 4, 1987, for the California Angels
MLB statistics
Batting average.250
Home runs147
Runs batted in579
Career highlights and awards

Kansas City Royals

Jones was born in Dallas and moved to California as a pre-teen. He played baseball, basketball and football at Berkeley High School in Berkeley, California, earning all-East Bay honors in each sport. He received scholarship offers to play football at Arizona State University, Oregon State University and the University of California, but opted to focus on baseball as he considered himself a better outfielder than wide receiver.[2]

He was drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the third round of the 1973 Major League Baseball draft. After three seasons in their farm system, in which he batted .287 with 38 home runs and 173 runs batted in, Jones went into Spring training 1976 competing for the open outfield job in right field. Though he had a decent Spring, he was beaten out by Tom Poquette, and reassigned to triple A Omaha just as the regular season was set to begin.[3]

After batting .262 with nineteen home runs and 73 RBIs in half a season with the Omaha Royals, Jones earned a call up to the majors for the second half of the 1976 season. He was the hero of his second major league game, going two-for-five and driving in three runs to lead the Royals to an 8–3 victory over the Chicago White Sox.[4] For the season, he batted .216 with one home run and seven RBIs as a fourth outfielder and left-handed bat off the bench.

Seattle Mariners

Royals manager Whitey Herzog called Jones one of the top three prospects in his team's organization, and realized that they were likely to lose Jones when he was left unprotected in the 1976 expansion draft. However, given the amount of young talent in the organization, Jones did not fit the team's future plans, and was thereby left unprotected.[5] Actor Danny Kaye, who was part owner of the Seattle Mariners called Jones' name as the first overall pick in the expansion draft.

Jones' power and range in center field immediately made him a fan favorite in Seattle.[6] He was batting .256 with seventeen home runs and fifty RBIs at the All-Star break to be named the first ever All-Star representative of the club at the 1977 game.[7] He ended the season at .263 with 24 home runs and 76 RBIs to be named the 1977 Topps Rookie All-Star center fielder.

On May 16, 1978, Jones tied a major league record for outfielders with twelve putouts in an extra innings game against the Detroit Tigers.[8] His 1978 season was interrupted by an appendectomy in mid June.[9] He returned in late July, but managed just a .214 batting average the rest of the way. For the season he batted .235 with six home runs and 46 RBIs.

He returned healthy in 1979, and established career highs in runs (109), hits (166), triples (9), RBIs (78) and stolen bases (33) while playing a full 162 game schedule. Following the season, he was traded to the New York Yankees with pitcher Jim Lewis for Rick Anderson, Jim Beattie, Juan Beníquez and Jerry Narron.[10] He left the Mariners with the club record for most runs scored in a season (109 in 1979) and he is tied for club records for runs and walks in a game.

New York Yankees

Jones was batting .223 with nine home runs and 42 RBIs playing center and batting second in the Yankees' line-up when he separated his shoulder on August 25, 1980 crashing into the outfield wall in Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum chasing a Tony Armas fly ball. The Yankees won 103 games that season to win the American League East, however, Jones was unable to appear in the post-season as his injury required season ending surgery.[11] He sued A's owner Charlie Finley after the season.[12]

At one point during the Winter Meetings, Jones was rumored to be heading to the Boston Red Sox in a rare Yankees–Red Sox deal. However, following the Yankees' signing of Dave Winfield as a free agent, the deal fell through.[13] Instead, he was dealt to the San Diego Padres the following Spring with Joe Lefebvre, Tim Lollar and Chris Welsh for Jerry Mumphrey and John Pacella.[14]

San Diego Padres

The Padres finished in last place in both halves of the strike shortened 1981 season. For his part, Jones batted .249 and tied for the team lead with 53 runs scored. He was batting .312 with eleven home runs and fifty RBIs at the 1982 All-Star break to earn the second All-Star nod of his career. He was the Padres' sole representative despite the fact that San Diego was in second place in the National League West at the time. In his only at-bat, he led off the third inning with a triple, and scored on a Pete Rose sacrifice fly.[15] Jones was a fan favorite on the 1982 Padres, and Padre Yellow "Rupe's Troops" T-shirts were a frequent sight during the season.[16]

Jones appeared in 133 games for the Padres in 1983, the fewest he'd played in a full season uninterrupted by injury. He was a free agent at the end of the season, and when the Padres acquired Carmelo Martínez from the Chicago Cubs at the Winter meetings,[17] Jones became expendable.

Detroit Tigers

Jones spent Spring training 1984 with the Pittsburgh Pirates, but failed to make the club.[18] A week into the season, he signed with the Detroit Tigers. He began the season assigned to triple A with the Evansville Triplets; a .313 batting average, nine home runs and 45 RBIs earned him a call up to the majors by the beginning of June. He spent the rest of the season platooning with Larry Herndon in left field and occasionally spelling a day off for Chet Lemon in center. Perhaps his most indelible moment of his season in Detroit came on June 24, when he cleared the right field roof of Tiger Stadium with a shot off Milwaukee Brewers right-hander Tom Tellmann.[19] For the season, Jones batted .284 with 37 RBIs and nine home runs. Six of which came at Tiger Stadium to earn him the nickname "Rooftop" Ruppert.

The 1984 Tigers won 104 games and coasted into the post-season. Jones went hitless in eight at-bats in the American League Championship Series and World Series (in which he faced off against the Padres), winning the Series with the Tigers. He became a free agent at the end of the season. The Tigers believed that he was a part-time player at this stage of his career, and were only willing to pay him as such. After some bitter negotiation between Jones and the Tigers organization,[20] he signed with the California Angels.

California Angels

Jones served as a fourth outfielder and designated hitter his first season in California. His 21 home runs were second only to Reggie Jackson. He and Jackson switched roles in 1986, with Jackson assuming DH duties and Jones earning most of his playing time in right field. The Angels won the American League West that year, earning Jones his second trip to the post-season, but lost the 1986 American League Championship Series to the Boston Red Sox in heart-breaking fashion. Jones collected three hits in the ALCS, scoring four runs and driving in two.

His role became far more diminished in 1987 as he didn't even log his first plate appearance until the eighth game of the season. He ended up with eight home runs and 28 RBIs in just 213 plate appearances.

1988 season

Jones was invited to the Milwaukee Brewers' Spring training camp in Tucson, Arizona as a non-roster invitee in 1988.[21] Though he hit well, he failed to make the club.[22] He signed a minor league deal with the Texas Rangers in the beginning of May,[23] and earned American Association "Player of the Week" honors his second week with the Oklahoma City 89ers. His stay in Oklahoma City, however, was brief. After fifty games, he left for Japan, signing with the Hanshin Tigers. He returned to Oklahoma City in 1989, but with a torn rotator cuff and a torn labrum, he called it quits after 27 games.

Personal life

Jones is divorced from the mother of his daughter and son (Gabrielle and Ranon Jones), and has been married to his second wife, Betty, since 1997. He now lives in Rancho Bernardo, California, a suburb of San Diego, California, and works with The Boon Group, a third-party administrator that sells employee benefits and administrative services to government contractors. He and former major league pitcher Dave Stewart coach the Easton A's, a San Diego-based Travel Ball Team for ages thirteen and fourteen.


  1. ^ Hal Bock (November 4, 1976). "Seattle, Toronto Select Youth in Baseball Expansion". The Prescott Courier.
  2. ^ Jim Moore (July 5, 2001). "'Roop!' Still Echoes in Mariners Lore". The Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
  3. ^ "Al Fitzmorris Back In In Good Form For Royals; Player Shuffle Continues Between Ball Teams". Daily Union. April 3, 1976.
  4. ^ "Kansas City Royals 8, Chicago White Sox 3". August 6, 1976.
  5. ^ "Seattle Takes Player Off Kansas City List". Spokane Daily Chronicle. November 5, 1976.
  6. ^ Larry Stone (April 19, 2012). "Ruuuuuuuuupert Jones, the first Mariner, was a big hit in Seattle". The Seattle Times.
  7. ^ "1977 Major League Baseball All-Star Game". July 19, 1977.
  8. ^ Tom Loomis (May 17, 1978). "Too Tired to Go On, Tiger Parrish Ends It In 16th". Toledo Blade.
  9. ^ "Jones Has Appendectomy". The Tuscaloosa News. June 18, 1978.
  10. ^ "New Yankee Staff Makes Deals". The Palm Beach Post. November 2, 1979.
  11. ^ "Jones Out For Year". The Milwaukee Sentinel. August 27, 1980.
  12. ^ "Ruppert Jones Sues Finley". Daytona Beach Morning Journal. April 12, 1981.
  13. ^ Dave O'Hara (December 14, 1980). "Rumors Fly On Closing". The Robesonian.
  14. ^ "Yanks Deal Four for Mumphrey". The Montreal Gazette. April 1, 1981.
  15. ^ "1982 Major League Baseball All-Star Game". July 13, 1982.
  16. ^ "Some Tigers Have Old Ties to the Padres". Bangor Daily News. October 10, 1984.
  17. ^ Hal Bock (December 8, 1983). "Trade Winds Brisk at Winter Meetings". Youngstown Vindicator.
  18. ^ Mike Bires (March 30, 1984). "Jones Forcing Tanner's Hand". Beaver County Times.
  19. ^ "Morris Hurls Tigers Past Brewers". Lakeland Ledger. June 25, 1984.
  20. ^ Tom Loomis (January 23, 1985). "Simmons' Progress Helps Tigers' Decision on Jones". Toledo Blade.
  21. ^ Tom Flaherty (March 23, 1988). "Jones Stymied by Adduci and a Sore Shoulder". Milwaukee Journal.
  22. ^ "Brewers, Cubs Make Changes". The Telegraph-Herald. March 31, 1988.
  23. ^ "Rewind: Live chat with former Mariner Ruppert Jones". The Seattle Times. April 18, 2012.
1973 Kansas City Royals season

The 1973 Kansas City Royals season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Royals finishing second in the American League West with a record of 88 wins and 74 losses.

1976 Kansas City Royals season

The 1976 Kansas City Royals season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Royals finishing first in the American League West with a record of 90 wins and 72 losses. They lost in the 1976 American League Championship Series to the New York Yankees, three games to two.

1976 Major League Baseball expansion draft

The 1976 MLB Expansion Draft was held November 5, 1976. This expansion draft was conducted by Major League Baseball to stock the major league rosters of the Toronto Blue Jays and the Seattle Mariners, new major league expansion franchises established via the 1977 Major League Baseball expansion that were set to start play in the 1977 season.

1977 Kansas City Royals season

The 1977 Kansas City Royals season was a season in American baseball. It involved the Royals finishing first in the American League West with a record of 102 wins and 60 losses. They went on to lose the 1977 American League Championship Series to the New York Yankees, 3 games to 2.

1978 Seattle Mariners season

The 1978 Seattle Mariners season was the second in franchise history. The Mariners ended the season by finishing 7th in the American League West with a record of 56–104 (.350).

1979 Seattle Mariners season

The 1979 Seattle Mariners season was the franchise's third since its creation. The Mariners ended the season in sixth place in the American League West with a record of 67–95 (.414). The Mariners hosted the All-Star Game on Tuesday, July 17.

1980 New York Yankees season

The 1980 New York Yankees season was the 78th season for the franchise in New York, and its 80th season overall. The team finished with a record of 103-59, finishing in first place in the American League East, 3 games ahead of the Baltimore Orioles. The Kansas City Royals swept the Yankees in the ALCS. New York was managed by Dick Howser. The Yankees played at Yankee Stadium.

1982 Major League Baseball All-Star Game

The 1982 Major League Baseball All-Star Game was the 53rd midseason exhibition between the all-stars of the American League (AL) and the National League (NL), the two leagues comprising Major League Baseball. The game was played on July 13, 1982, at Olympic Stadium in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, home of the Montreal Expos of the National League. The game resulted in a 4–1 victory for the NL, and Cincinnati Reds shortstop Dave Concepción was named the MVP.

It is notable for being the first All-Star Game ever played outside the United States. This would be the only All-Star Game to be played in Montréal, as the Expos would leave in 2005 to become the Washington Nationals before having an opportunity to host another. Four members of the Expos were voted into the starting lineup. The flyover at the conclusion of the National Anthems was done for the first time by a national air squadron other than those from the United States Air Force or Air National Guard as the Snowbirds from the Canadian Forces Air Command flew over Olympic Stadium, marking the first of their two All-Star appearances; they would perform the flyover for the 1991 Major League Baseball All-Star Game in Toronto nine years later. It is also the last All-Star Game in which the manager of the runner-up for any league pennant managed in place of the manager of the defending league champions due to the latter's unemployment; Billy Martin of the Oakland Athletics managed in place of Bob Lemon, who had been fired by the New York Yankees, Martin's former team.

1982 San Diego Padres season

The 1982 San Diego Padres season was the 14th in franchise history. It was their first season in which they finished at .500 or better.

1983 San Diego Padres season

The 1983 San Diego Padres season was the 15th season in franchise history. The team finished with an 81–81 record, excluding a tied game that was not included in the standings. They scored 653 runs and allowed 653 runs for a run differential of zero.

1984 Detroit Tigers season

The 1984 Detroit Tigers won the 1984 World Series, defeating the San Diego Padres, 4 games to 1. The season was their 84th since they entered the American League in 1901 and their fourth World Series championship. Detroit relief pitcher Willie Hernández won the Cy Young Award and was chosen as the American League Most Valuable Player. The 1984 season is also notable for the Tigers leading the AL East division wire-to-wire. They opened with a 9–0 start, were 35–5 after 40 games, and never relinquished the lead during the entire season.

1985 California Angels season

The California Angels 1985 season involved the Angels taking 2nd place in the American League West with a 90-72 record, finishing one game behind the eventual World Series champions, the Kansas City Royals.

1986 American League Championship Series

The 1986 American League Championship Series was a back-and-forth battle between the Boston Red Sox and the California Angels for the right to advance to the 1986 World Series to face the winner of the 1986 National League Championship Series. The Red Sox came in with a 95–66 record and the AL East division title, while the Angels went 92–70 during the regular season to win the AL West.

1987 California Angels season

The California Angels 1987 season involved the Angels finishing 6th in the American League west with a record of 75 wins and 87 losses.

1993 Baseball Hall of Fame balloting

Elections to the Baseball Hall of Fame for 1993 followed the system in place since 1978.

The Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA) voted by mail to select from recent major league players and

elected Reggie Jackson.

The Veterans Committee met in closed sessions to consider older major league players as well as managers, umpires, executives, and figures from the Negro Leagues.

It selected no one.

Joe Lefebvre

Joseph Henry Lefebvre (born February 22, 1956) is an American former professional baseball player and coach. He played all or part of six seasons in Major League Baseball with the New York Yankees (1980), San Diego Padres (1981–83) and Philadelphia Phillies (1983–84 and 1986), primarily as an outfielder. He currently serves as senior advisor for scouting for the San Francisco Giants.


Ruppert is both a surname and a given name. Notable people with the name include:


Jacob Ruppert (1867–1939), National Guard colonel, U.S. Representative from New York, brewery owner, owner of the New York Yankees

James Ruppert (born 1934), responsible for the deadliest shooting inside a private residence in American history

Michael Ruppert, founder and editor of From The Wilderness, dedicated to investigating political cover-ups

Ralph Ruppert, German Record Producer, relocated to London in 1985

Wilhelm Ruppert (1905–1946), SS trooper in charge of executions at Dachau concentration camp executed for war crimesGiven name:

Ruppert Jones (born 1955), former Major League Baseball outfielder

Ruppert L. Sargent (1938–1967), United States Army officer and a recipient of the Medal of Honor for his actions in the Vietnam War

Seattle Mariners award winners and league leaders

The following is a list of Seattle Mariners professional baseball players and managers who have won various awards or other accolades from Major League Baseball or other organizations or have led the American League in some statistical category at the end of the season.


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