This year, Opening Day is on March 29 – just 10 days away!! As always, the Baseball Sociologist counts down the days. This year, with start with #10, Adam Jones, center fielder for the Baltimore Orioles.
Wanna know one of the many cool things about Adam Jones? He is passionate about the city of Baltimore and wants to give back. One of Jones’ favorite charities is the Boys and Girls Club. Jones, a product of the Boys and Girls Club in San Diego, and the Orioles Charitable Foundation have donated thousands of dollars to the Boys and Girls Club in Baltimore. Last November, Jones held his 5th #StayHungry #PurpleTailgate event before a Baltimore Ravens game. The event collected over $100,000 for the Boys and Girls Club. Earlier in 2017, Jones donated $20,000 to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and provided free admission to children from a local youth program.
The headline may have been about how Adam Jones wants a World Series ring, but the real story was his thoughts on giving back to the community:
“My family, my wife, we’ve done so much in Baltimore the last decade. It’s been awesome. If I was to go somewhere else, it’d be different to not be able to affect the same lives in Baltimore that I’ve been able to do the last decade. But I would have to go to another team and hopefully be able to implement myself in that community, also.
It’s important that athletes give back. We are in a unique situation. We can affect a lot of change. A lot of people listen to us, a lot of people respect our opinions on everything. Food, fashion, music, movies. People respect our opinions on a lot of things. And we don’t have a duty, but we have a civil duty (that) if you’re in a position to help, you should help. That’s all I try to do is just give back to the community that’s blessed me.”
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
As the Baseball Sociologist, I am deeply concerned about what happened in Boston Monday night during the Orioles-Red Sox game. I am also concerned about the way it was covered in the media. As an Orioles fan, I am even more upset. Don’t mess with Adam Jones. Or anyone on my team.
I’m still pondering the media coverage, and will comment more on that at a later date. But I wanted to share one thing that appears to have been largely overlooked in the coverage of all this: a simple tweet by Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts:
Fact: I'm Black too ✊🏽Literally stand up for @SimplyAJ10 tonight and say no to racism. We as @RedSox and @MLB fans are better than this.
Every year, MLB celebrates Jackie Robinson Day – April 15 – by donning #42 uniforms, hosting special events, and talking about the importance of Jackie Robinson to baseball and society. One of my favorite players, Adam Jones, always tells it like it is, and Jackie Robinson Day a few years ago was no different. Click here to check out Adam Jones’ 2015 comments here.
This year is the 70th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in baseball. As we count down to Jackie Robinson Day, let’s think about what this means to the players, the game, and us – the fans.