Sam Jones (baseball)

Samuel "Toothpick" Jones (December 14, 1925 – November 5, 1971) was an American Major League Baseball pitcher with the Cleveland Indians, Chicago Cubs, St. Louis Cardinals, San Francisco Giants, Detroit Tigers and the Baltimore Orioles between 1951 and 1964. He batted and threw right-handed.[1]

Born in Stewartsville, Ohio, Jones played for several Negro League teams, including the Orlando All-Stars in 1946; and the Cleveland Buckeyes, where he played under the management of Quincy Trouppe, in 1947 and 1948; and the Kansas City Royals, " touring Negro League squad handpicked by Satchel Paige." In 1948-49 he played in Panama, and then, with the end of the Negro National League, played semi-pro ball until he was signed by the Indians organization in the fall of 1949, playing Class A ball in the season and winter ball for Panama in 1949-50. [2]

Jones began his major league career with the Cleveland Indians in 1951. When he entered a game on May 3, 1952, 39-year-old rookie Quincy Trouppe, a Negro League veteran, was behind the plate. Together they formed the first black battery in American League history. Both Sam Jones and Quincy Trouppe played for the Cleveland Buckeyes in the Negro American League.

After the 1954 season, the Tribe traded him to the Chicago Cubs for two players to be named later, one of who was slugger Ralph Kiner. In 1956, the Cubs traded him to the St. Louis Cardinals in a multi-player deal; prior to the 1959 season, he was dealt this time to the San Francisco Giants for Bill White and Ray Jablonski. He was picked 25th by the expansion Houston Colt .45s in the 1961 expansion draft, then traded to the Detroit Tigers for Bob Bruce and Manny Montejo. He rejoined the Cardinals for the 1963 campaign and played 1964 with the Baltimore Orioles. He spent the final three years of his pro career as a relief pitcher with the Columbus Jets of the International League before retiring at the end of the 1967 season.

During his career, Jones was known for his sweeping curveball, in addition to a fastball and changeup. Stan Musial once remarked, "Sam had the best curveball I ever saw... He was quick and fast and that curve was terrific, so big it was like a change of pace. I've seen guys fall down on curves that became strikes." [3]

During his career, Jones led the National League in strikeouts, and walks, three times: in 1955, 1956, and 1958. On May 12 of the former of these three seasons, he no-hit the Pittsburgh Pirates 4-0 at Wrigley Field, becoming the first African American in Major League history to pitch a no-hitter. He achieved this no-hitter in the hardest way: after walking Gene Freese, Preston Ward (who was pinch-run for by Román Mejías) and Tom Saffell to begin the ninth inning, he left the bases loaded by striking out Dick Groat, Roberto Clemente and Frank Thomas in succession. His greatest year came with the Giants in 1959, when he led the league in both wins with 21 (tying him with Milwaukee Braves starters Lew Burdette and Warren Spahn) and ERA with 2.83. He was named 1959 National League Pitcher of the Year by The Sporting News, but finished a distant second to Early Wynn of the Chicago White Sox for the Cy Young Award. He was named to the NL All-Star team twice, in 1955 and 1959.

Jones died from a recurrence of neck cancer first diagnosed in 1962, in Morgantown, West Virginia at the age of 45.

Sam Jones
Sam Jones 1961
Born: December 14, 1925
Stewartsville, Ohio
Died: November 5, 1971 (aged 45)
Morgantown, West Virginia
Batted: Right Threw: Right
MLB debut
September 22, 1951, for the Cleveland Indians
Last MLB appearance
October 3, 1964, for the Baltimore Orioles
MLB statistics
Win–loss record102–101
Earned run average3.59
Negro leagues

Major League Baseball

Career highlights and awards


  1. ^ Lederer, Richard (March 1, 1994). "The names of the games". The Telegraph.
  2. ^ "SABR Biography Project".
  3. ^ The Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers: An Historical Compendium of Pitching, Pitchers, and Pitches. Bill James and Rob Neyer. 2004.

External links

List of Negro league baseball players

This list comprises players who have appeared in Negro league baseball.

List of New York Yankees team records

The New York Yankees are a professional baseball team based in the Bronx, New York. They compete in the East Division of Major League Baseball's (MLB) American League (AL). The club began play in 1903 as the Highlanders, after owners Frank Farrell and William S. Devery had bought the defunct Baltimore Orioles and moved the team to New York City; in 1913, the team changed its nickname to the Yankees. From 1903 to 2018, the franchise has won more than 10,000 games and 27 World Series championships. The list below documents players and teams that hold particular club records.

Outfielder Babe Ruth holds the most franchise records, with 16, including career home runs, and career and single-season batting average and on-base percentage. Shortstop Derek Jeter has the second-most records among hitters, with eight. Jeter's marks include the records for career hits, singles, doubles, and stolen bases. Among pitchers, Whitey Ford has the most Yankees records with five, all of which are career totals. These include games won, games started, and innings pitched.

Several Yankees hold AL and MLB records. Ruth has MLB single-season records for extra-base hits and total bases, and holds four other AL single-season records. Outfielder Joe DiMaggio had a 56-game hitting streak in the 1941 season, which remains an MLB record. Jack Chesbro holds three AL records that he set in 1904: games won, games started, and complete games.

Sporting News Pitcher of the Year Award

Sporting News established the Pitcher of the Year Award in 1944. Until the award was replaced by two separate awards in 2013, it was given annually to the pitcher in each league having the most outstanding season. No awards were given in 1946 or 1947. This award was established before there was a Cy Young Award. The Cy Young Award is voted by baseball writers from each city, and critics claim the writers who follow a particular team or player throughout a season are naturally disposed to vote for him. Starting in 2013, the Starting Pitcher of the Year Award and Relief Pitcher of the Year Award are given annually to the starting and relief pitchers in each league judged by Sporting News baseball experts as having had the most outstanding season, and is one of the oldest and most prestigious pitching awards in Major League Baseball.

Preceded by
Jim Wilson
No-hitter pitcher
May 12, 1955
Succeeded by
Carl Erskine

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