Sherman Jones: Original 1962 Met- Police Officer & State Senator (1962)

Sherman Jarvis Jones was born on February 10, 1935, in Winton, North Carolina. The six-foot four right-handed pitcher was originally signed by the New York Giants in 1953. 

He spent the rest of the fifties in the minor leagues winning ten games twice in that time period. There he earned the nickname "roadblock" when he helped stop a team losing streak.

In 1960 he won ten games going 10-0 in the Pacific Coast League with AAA Tacoma, getting him his chance to pitch in the big leagues.

MLB Debut: Jones debuted with the San Francisco Giants pitching in 16 games of relief going 1-0 with a save, finishing up eight games overall posting a 3.09 ERA. 

He got traded to the Cincinnati Reds in May of 1961 to complete an earlier deal that sent Don Blasingame and Bob Schmidt to Cincinnati for Ed Bailey. Jones pitched in 24 games of relief for the ’61 NL Champion Reds, going 1-1 with two saves and a 4.42 ERA. 

1961 World Series: He got to pitch two thirds of an inning in the 1961 World Series Game#5 in New York. He relieved Bill Henry in the 4th inning & retired Clete Boyer & Bud Daley to end the inning in the 13-5 loss.

Mets Career: Jones was then drafted by the New York Mets in the 1961 expansion draft (34th pick overall) becoming an original Met in their inaugural season.

Bizarre Injury: In another of the many classic '62 Mets tales, Jones suffered a freak accident when a lit match flew off the match book cover & struck him in the eye. 

In Spring Training, he took a line drive to the leg which put him on crutches for over a week. Manager Casey Stengel originally wanted Jones to pitch the clubs first game because he wanted Roger Craig, who was considered the top starter to start the home Opener in New York.

On April 13, 1962, Jones would start the third game in Mets history which was the team's first home game, played at the Polo Grounds. He pitched well, against the Pittsburgh Pirates allowing two runs in five innings of work that day.

The first run (Smokey Burgess) scored on a Don Hoak double, Burgess had reached base on an infield hit, when Charlie Neal's throw pulled the first baseman off the bag. Hoak then scored when Bill Mazeroski's fly ball fell between Ritchie Ashburn & Gus Bell. Bell had waved off Ashburn but as it ended up couldn't make the play after all. 

 Sherman Jones was the pitcher of record that day & took the loss in front of the 12,447 fans on the historic rainy afternoon in New York.

Trivia- First Mets Hit in Polo Grounds: It was also Jones who got the first Mets hit at the Polo Grounds that day, when he singled in the third inning off Tom Sturdivant. 

In his next outing, the St. Louis Cards beat him up for six runs over four innings & it would be his last start as he was moved to the bull pen.

He lost two more games there & was sent back to the minors at the end of May, getting back as a September call up at the end of the season. 

1963: He would go 12-6 for the Mets at A ball in Raleigh the following year posting a good 2.10 ERA but never got called up to the big leagues again. He played two more minor league seasons before he retired from baseball in 1965.

Career Stats: Jones had spent 12 years in the minor leagues going 84-63 with a 3.96 ERA pitching 289 games. In the majors he pitched 48 games going 2-6 with three saves posting a 4.73 ERA. He struck out 53 batters walked 46 in 110.1 innings pitched in 48 appearances, making five starts & finishing off 18 games.

Retirement & New Careers: 
At age 30 Jones started a second career as a Police officer in Kansas City Missouri. He would stay on the KC Police force for twenty-two years.


Politician: After that he was elected to the Kansas Legislature of Wyandotte County, serving in the House of Representatives from 1989 to 1992. He then served in the Senate from 1993-2001. Mr. Jones had quite a career going from an original Met to a policeman to a politician.

Passing: In 2007 Jones passed away at the University of Kansas Medical Center, at the age of 72.

Comments

Al Lopez said…
With all due respect, the version of Sherman Jones’s cigarette accident is inaccurate. It actually took place in 1961, in Jersey City,NJ. Sherm was a pitcher for the Jersey City Jerseys, formally the Havana Sugar Kings. I was the home batboy for the team. During an evening game, I was sitting in the dugout to Roadblock’s left. He took out a cigarette from a pack of Pall Malls, lit a match and the burning head went straight into his right eye. Needless to say, he was removed by our trainer Zip Brooks into the clubhouse. The next day he returned to the team with a bandaged eye. As a 15 year old, the incident made an impression that lasts until today. Whenever I light a match or see someone doing the same , I recall the dugout incident of Sherman Roadblock Jones. Sherm was a good pitcher and a wonderful person. Thank you. Al Lopez

Popular posts from this blog

Fictional Mets Infielder Chico Escuela ( of SNL) Visits Mets Spring Training (1979)

Remembering Bobby Ojeda's Tragic Boating Accident (1993)

Remembering Vixen Founder / Guitarist; Jan Kuehnemund (1961-2013)

Remembering Mets History: (1977) The Felix Millan / Ed Ott Brawl In Pittsburgh

The History of Yogi Berra & Yoo-Hoo