Doug Jones, a five-time All-Star reliever who had his best success closing for the Cleveland Indians, has died at age 64, reportedly, due to complications from a COVID-19 infection.
A master of the changeup, Jones spent seven seasons with the Indians and ranks third on the club’s career saves list with 129. The club, which officially transitioned to Cleveland Guardians last week, said Monday it was ‘saddened by the loss of one of our organization’s all-time greats.’
The team said Jones died in Arizona. It is not known if he was vaccinated against COVID-19.
Doug Jones, a five-time All-Star reliever who had his best success closing for the Cleveland Indians, has died at age 64, reportedly, due to complications from a COVID-19 infection
Former Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Doug Jones throws out the ceremonial first pitch before Cleveland played the Washington Nationals in a baseball game June 14, 2013
One of Jones’ former Indians teammates, pitcher Greg Swindell, posted on Twitter that his friend had died from coronavirus
One of Jones’ former Indians teammates, pitcher Greg Swindell, posted on Twitter that his friend had died from coronavirus.
‘Sad to tweet, that a long time friend, teammate, husband father grandfather and one hell of a pitcher Doug Jones has passed from complications from COVID,’ tweeted Swindell. ‘RIP JONSEY. Please keep the family in your prayers.’
Known as ‘Jonesy,’ Jones pitched in the majors for 16 seasons with Cleveland, Houston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, the Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee and Oakland. He had two stints with the Indians, first from 1986-91 and again in 1998.
The right-hander had a career-high 43 saves in 1990 for Cleveland, where he made the All-Star team three times. In 2001, he was selected as one of the team’s top 100 players.
At a time when relievers like Mark Wohlers were regularly throwing over 100mph, Jones succeeded with a fastball that barely topped 80.
Jones attended Butler University in Indiana before embarking on a successful MLB career
New York Times baseball editor Benjamin Hoffman said Jones was impressive because he was able to get outs without throwing very hard: ‘He was doing it all with smoke and mirrors’
‘Doug Jones was a hell of a pitcher who looked like a closer straight out of central casting,’ tweeted New York Times baseball editor Benjamin Hoffman. ‘But his stuff made him even more fun to watch because the dude had absolutely no gas. He was doing it all with smoke and mirrors.’
‘Doug Jones, late in his career, playing for the A’s, was one of my favorite players of all time to watch,’ tweeted NPR host Jesse Thorn. ‘He threw changeup after changeup after strange changeup. A changeup with no fastball. It was amazing! And he was good. I’ll be remembering him tonight.’
Jones went 69-79 with a 3.30 ERA in 846 big league games. He retired following the 2000 season with the Athletics.
Born in Covina, California, Jones was drafted by the Brewers in 1978 and made his last pitching performance in September of 2000.
The durable right-hander excelled in his 16-year career, which included seven seasons in Cleveland. He went 11-8 with a 1.85 ERA and 36 saves in 111.2 IP for the 1992 Houston Astros