Gary Jones (minors02)
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Gary Wayne Jones
- Bats Left, Throws Right
- Height 5' 9", Weight 163 lb.
- School Paris Junior College, University of Arkansas
- High School Henderson High School
Gary Jones was a second baseman who repeatedly led his league in offensive categories and made All-Star teams. He played three years at AAA but never made it to the major leagues as a player. After his playing career ended, he became a minor league manager and coached in the majors.
He broke in with the 1982 Geneva Cubs (.200, 1 HR) and GCL Cubs (.349, 12 RBI). In 1983, Jones hit .308/~.470/.418 with the Quad Cities Cubs. He scored 105 runs, stole 58 bases in 80 tries, drew 126 walks in 133 games and struck out 105 times. He led the Midwest League second basemen with 30 errors, was sixth in the MWL in average and led in walks and runs. He tied for third in the league in stolen bases. He made the MWL All-Star team at second base opposite teammate Shawon Dunston (employing an opposite style, drawing 7 walks) at short. He led the league in on-base percentage.
In 1984, the infielder was on the Lodi Crushers and crushed six homers, the most he would hit. He put up a .291/~.456/.391 line. He stole 38 in 54 tries, drew 138 walks in 138 games, scored 111 runs and had 39 errors, most at his position again. He was 10th in the California League and led the circuit in both runs and walks again. He was second to Mike Aldrete in OBP.
On January 17, 1986, Jones and John Cox were dealt to the Oakland Athletics for Phil Stephenson and Bob Bathe. Assigned to the Huntsville Stars, Jones had another great year, hitting .311/.465/.393, leading the Southern League in OBP, runs (116) and walks (129 in 131 games) while swiping 31 bases. He made the SL All-Star team.
The short second bagger had a big year with the Tacoma Tigers in 1987, posting a .277/~.426/.368 line with 30 steals. He led the Pacific Coast League in runs (102) and walks (123) - it was the 4th time in five years he had led his league in those categories.
In '88, Gary returned to Tacoma and slipped to a .234/~.376/.304 line with only 13 steals in 23 tries. He was also moved to the outfield that year as Lance Blankenship held down second for Tacoma.
The 28-year-old hit .219/~.286/.500 in 11 games for Tacoma in 1989 and spent most of the year with Huntsville, where he batted .275/.474/.341 and led the SL in OBP and walks (107 in 96 games) while swiping 16.
After retiring as a player, Jones managed 15 seasons in the minor leagues, posting a 1,039-972 record, and was Baseball America Minor League Manager of the Year in 1997 with the Edmonton Trappers. He spent 1998 as the Oakland Athletics third base coach and 2002 as the Boston Red Sox minor league field coordinator. He was the roving minor league infield instructor/minor league defensive coordinator for the San Diego Padres from 2007 to 2012. In 2014, he was appointed third base and infield coach of the Chicago Cubs, staying until the end of the 2017 season. Jones was scheduled to manage the Lehigh Valley IronPigs in 2020 before the season was cancelled due to Covid-19.