Thursday, December 14, 2006

December 14th, 1925

Sam Jones Born

Given how many funny names I do, it only seems fitting that as the years winds down I do a name that is, if not quite 'boring' at the very least ordinary. Of course, I could never do bring myself to do a name with nothing fun about it and a name like Sam Jones is just begging for nicknames. But we'll dedicate a little to his career before getting into that.

Jones was a pretty decent pitcher over a twelve year career, he pitched primarily for the Giants before bouncing around at the end of his career. His best year came in 1959 when led the league in both ERA, wins and strikeouts for the Giants. Jones failed to win the Cy Young award that year as it went instead to Early Wynn who won twenty-two games in the American League. (In those days there was just one award for both leagues, a face that Jones must have cursed.) Jones won eighteen games in 1960 but that was end of his effective career; the next four years he would pitch for four different teams and go just twelve and twelve before retiring.

Now for the nicknames. Jones was known through as his career as both "Sad" Sam Jones and "Toothpick" Jones. The latter of the nicknames is perhaps the more obvious, as it was based on a real affectation, through his career Jones really did have a toothpick in his mouth, often even while on the mound. As for the Sad part, well, the truth of the matter was even when he smiled, Sam just didn't look like a very happy guy.

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