Adam Jones' escape from San Diego
Back when this blog was firing on all cylinders (hang with us; we'll get there again) I professed my gigantic man crush on Orioles center fielder Adam Jones, and compared him to the opening pages of a great novel. Since every good novel needs to explain a character's back story, I wanted to make sure Orioles fans spotted this story by Chris Jenkins of the San Diego Union-Tribune about Jones' teenage years. It's kind of cool to think that Sam Horn and Jones are from the same neighborhoods.
As Jenkins points out in the piece, it's sort of remarkable that Jones didn't even really play much baseball until he was in high school, which makes you feel like he has even more untapped potential than what we're seeing right now.
It's also a nice reminder of just how important mentors can be in urban areas that are threatening to be overrun by drugs and crime. It always saddens me when I hear people rip on city schools, especially when it's talk radio knuckleheads who have never stepped foot inside one, blaming teachers unions or overpaid administrators for a litany of problems. It's always more complicated than that. Sometimes, it just takes one person to care about a kid and use sports as a vehicle to focus their lives in the right direction. And for every kid like Adams Jones who becomes a Major League Baseball player and has his story told, there are hundreds who simply make it to graduation or get to college, and it's no less of a success.
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