Adam Jones wasn’t always here. The outfielder began his career with the Seattle Mariners and finished it with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
But Jones adopted Baltimore soon after his arrival, just as the city adopted him. And now the two will be forever linked. Jones will be honored by the Orioles on Sept. 15, when he will “retire” as an Oriole (he last played in MLB in 2019). It is unclear whether he will sign a one-day contract with his longtime club, as some athletes have done, or if this will simply be ceremonial.
Jones arrived in Baltimore in 2008 as part of a trade that sent pitcher Erik Bedard to the Mariners, and he quickly established himself as the everyday center fielder. He went on to earn five All-Star appearances with the Orioles and played 1,613 games for them.
The star was a large part of the Orioles’ best seasons in the mid-2010s while also featuring for Team USA in the 2017 World Baseball Classic — when he made an unreal catch in center field to rob a home run. Jones helped lead the Orioles to three playoff appearances, and he was a key part of a 2014 roster that won 96 games and finished at the top of the American League East for the first time since 1997.
The end of Jones’ time in Baltimore occurred right as the rebuild began. He blocked a trade to the Philadelphia Phillies in 2018, invoking his 10-and-5 rights — 10 years of MLB service time and five years with the same organization, offering a player a full no-trade clause.
That allowed Jones, who met and married Audie Fugett (daughter of former NFL player and Baltimore businessman Jean Fugett) in Baltimore, to see out the end of his contract with the Orioles. He joined the Diamondbacks the following season, played two seasons in Japan and then retired. He currently hosts The Adam Jones Podcast, in partnership with The Baltimore Banner, and made his return to Camden Yards this season for Mo Gaba Day.
Now, though, Jones, will retire again — only this time as a member of the team with which he made the largest impact.