Jacque Jones’ combination of power and speed lands him on BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot
Jacque Jones emerged from college with a combination of speed and power that made scouts take notice.
And soon after his big league debut in 1999, Jones was making the rest of the American League notice him and his talented Minnesota Twins teammates.
Jones is one of 36 former major leaguers on the 2014 Baseball Writers’ Association of America ballot for the Class of 2014 at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.
BBWAA members who have at least 10 years of tenure with the organization can vote in the election, and the results will be announced Jan. 8. Any candidate who receives at least 75 percent of all BBWAA votes cast will be enshrined in the Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2014. The Induction Ceremony will be held July 27 in Cooperstown.
Born April 25, 1975 in San Diego, Jones grew up in the rough-and-tumble neighborhoods of Southeast San Diego before starring on the diamond in high school and then enrolling at the University of Southern California, where he eventually earned All-American status as an outfielder. He was named to the United States Olympic Baseball Team in 1996. Drafted by the Twins that summer in the second round, Jones played his way to Minnesota in 1999 after two strong minor league seasons.
As a rookie in 1999, Jones hit .289 with 24 doubles, nine home runs and 44 RBI in just 95 games. In 2000, Jones became Minnesota’s everyday left fielder, hitting 19 home runs while driving in 76 runs.
“I need to stop taking every at-bat to heart,” said Jones during his early years with the Twins. “I try to overanalyze things. I’m my own worst critic.”
Jones became one of the core players of the Twins rebuilding plan that paid dividends in 2002 when Minnesota advanced to the American League Championship Series. That year, Jones set career highs with 27 home runs, 85 RBI and 96 runs scored. From 2003-05, Jones averaged 21 home runs, 74 RBI and 13 stolen bases a season – with the Twins winning the American League Central title in both 2003 and 2004.
Jones signed a three-year, free agent contract with the Cubs prior to the 2006 season, hitting 27 home runs and driving in 81 runs for Chicago in 2006. Jones was traded to the Tigers following the 2007 season, spending his final season in the big leagues – 2008 – with the Tigers and the Marlins.
Jones finished his career with a .277 batting average, 1,272 hits, 255 doubles, 165 home runs and 630 RBI.
Craig Muder is the director of communications for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
2014 Candidate Snapshot
Yrs on BBWAA ballot
|Paul Lo Duca||1998-2008||1st
|Hideo Nomo||1995-2005, 2008||1st|
|J.T. Snow||1992-2006, 2008||1st|
|Sammy Sosa||1988-2005, 2007||2nd|