Jonathan Reid Cornelius was born on June 2, 1970 in Thomasville, Alabama. Despite being named like Roddy McDowell’s character in the Planet of the Apes Movie, the six foot pitcher was a star in his home state at a young age.
By the time he was 18 years old he was listed as Baseball America’s Top Prospect in the state of Alabama. He helped his team win the junior cup & got chosen in the 11th round of the 1988 draft by the Montreal Expos.
Cornelius was a ten game winner twice in the minor leagues getting called up by the Expos in late April of 1995. He was used in May as a reliever posting a 8.00 in eight games pitched. He was traded to the New York Mets on June 8th 1995 for David Segui.
At the end of Spring Training in 1996 he was traded along with Ryan Thompson to the Cleveland Indians for pitcher Mark Clark. The next year he was a 17 game winner at the AA & AAA levels although he posted a 4.62 ERA.
In 1999 he was signed by the Florida Marlins appearing in just five games going 1-0. His best outing came on a night in September ’99, when the Miami area was under a hurricane warning, as he threw six shut out innings beating the Expos 4-0 earning his only win of the year.
In 2000 he went 4-10 with a 4.82 ERA, then he suffered a torn labrum. Next arthritis set in & his career was over at age thirty. In his brief three year career, he was 8-17 with a 4.91 ERA, with 101 strike outs in 211 innings pitched in 45 games.
Retirement: After his playing days he was a minor league pitching coach with the Jupiter Hammerheads & Jacksonville Suns.
In 2010 he was appointed a coaching position with the Florida Marlins. He is currently the teams bull pen coach again in 2015.