When the Sussex County Miners head into their 2016 season, they will be led by a former New York Met and a New Jersey native, Bobby Jones. The Miners announced today that Jones, who pitched for six seasons in the Major Leagues, has been named the manager of the Sussex County ball club.
Jones, 43, hails from Rutherford, NJ and was a three-sport athlete for Rutherford High School, playing football, basketball and baseball. Just one year after Jones graduated from Rutherford, the New Jersey native earned his ticket to professional baseball. The Milwaukee Brewers selected Jones, then a pitcher for Chipola College, in the 44th round of the 1991 MLB Amateur Draft.
After five seasons in the minor leagues, Jones got his chance to play at baseball’s highest level and the left-hander made his MLB debut close to home. On May 18, 1997, Jones took the mound for the Colorado Rockies against the New York Mets at Shea Stadium. Jones’ debut also made local history, as he became the third player to reach the Major Leagues from the Rutherford Little League program.
Jones brings a winning culture to the Miners, with championship experience at both the Major League level and in the Can-Am League. The left-hander was a member of the 2000 National League Champion Mets and was also on the 2004 World Champion Boston Red Sox. In 2014, Jones was the pitching coach for the Rockland Boulders when they captured the Can-Am League title.
Jones’ big league career spanned parts of six seasons and included stints with four different Major League teams. The Miners manager pitched for the Rockies from 1997-99, the Mets in 2000 and 2002, the San Diego Padres in 2002 and the Red Sox in 2004. All told, Jones appeared in 99 games during his big league career and pitched 324.2 innings.
Following his playing career, Jones pursued a career in coaching. Jones coached the South Bergen Mets college showcase program, which helped propel 50 student athletes to Division I college baseball programs from 2007-09. Shortly thereafter, Jones joined the Boulders’ coaching staff as the club’s pitching coach. The Miners will be Jones’ first professional managerial job.