JaCoby Jones emotional over first big-league call
JaCoby Jones was back at the Mud Hens team hotel in Indianapolis, having just finished a three-hit game earlier in the evening, when he got the call from Hens manager Lloyd McClendon.
“[He] said, ‘Hey kid, what are you doing,’” Jones said. “I was like, ‘I’m just sitting down, watching TV.’ It was probably 11:30, 11 o’clock, and he was like, ‘You’re going to the big leagues.’ I was like, ‘Really?’ He was like, ‘Yeah.’
“That’s when I lost it, and started freaking out. So, it was excitement and joy, all at the same time.”
It was so much that he had to pause and make sure he wasn’t the subject of a gag.
“I paused for a second, kind of went, ‘I don’t know if this is real or not.’ Then I took it all in, and then I called my parents,” he said. “That was probably the best call I’ve ever had in my life, calling my parents to let them know I made it to the big leagues.”
After a whirlwind 13-month stretch, from Pirates prospect to Trade Deadline deal, to the Arizona Fall League, to a 50-game suspension, to a standout Spring Training and a midseason return, Jones had made it. He worried that his suspension for a drug of abuse last fall had ruined his chance at a call-up this year, whether he did well or not.
Now, he’s not only in the Majors, he’s in the middle of a playoff race. And with Cameron Maybin and Nick Castellanos both injured, the 24-year-old center fielder/third baseman has the opportunity to play a major role.
“I mean, ever since you’re a young kid, just thinking about it, watching all these guys playing in the big leagues, and wanting to do that,” Jones said. “It’s just a great moment, in your heart, with joy and everything. It’s a great time for me. I’m glad to be here, and I’m super excited about it.
“It’s good that they have faith in me, that they think I could do some stuff to help the team win. That gives me confidence that they have confidence in me. So that’s good. Hopefully I can continue to play ball the way I’ve always played ball, and help them win some games down the stretch, and keep this thing going.”
Jones’ parents were expected to arrive in Detroit in time to make the game. His sister and his friends are expected to make it into town on Wednesday.
“My mom was crying, as soon as I told her,” he said. “She was yelling and crying. I heard my dad in the background, screaming. So it was a good feeling for me to know when I called my parents, they were that excited about it.”