Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Mack Jones (November 6, 1938 - June 8, 2004), nicknamed "Mack The Knife", was a MLB left fielder who played for the Milwaukee & Atlanta Braves (1961-67), Cincinnati Reds (1968) and Montreal Expos (1969-71). He batted left-handed and threw right-handed.
A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Jones was signed by the Milwaukee Braves as a non-draft amateur agent in 1958. In his major-league debut, on July 13, 1961, Jones tied a post-1900 National League record by collecting four hits (three singles and a double) in his first game.
Jones' most productive season came in 1965, when he batted .262 with 31 home runs and 75 runs batted in. Jones teamed that year with Hank Aaron, Eddie Mathews, Joe Torre, Felipe Alou and Gene Oliver, as the Braves set a NL record with six 20-HR hitters in one season. When the Braves moved to Jones's native Atlanta in 1966, he hit 23 homers despite a shoulder injury. In 1967, he was traded to Cincinnati.
In the 1968 expansion draft, Jones was the second player selected by the Expos (the fourth pick overall), behind Manny Mota . On April 14, 1969, Jones hit a three-run home run and two-run triple in the Expos' first home victory as a franchise, an 8-7 win over the St. Louis Cardinals at Jarry Park. Jones finished that season with a career-high .270 batting average, 22 homers and 79 RBI. So popular was Jones in Montreal that the left-field bleachers in Jarry Park were nicknamed "Jonesville".
Mack Jones died in Atlanta from complications with stomach cancer. He was 65 years old.
- A former Triple-A Syracuse SkyChiefs outfielder, Mack Jones was inducted into the Syracuse Baseball Wall of Fame in 2000. He had one of the better seasons ever by a Syracuse player in 1964, when he batted .317 with 15 doubles, 18 triples, 39 home runs and 102 runs batted in. He holds modern-day (since 1961) single-season Syracuse records for runs scored (111), total bases (337), RBIs, triples and home runs, all set in '64. Jones was part of a famed Syracuse outfield that season that included future major-league stars Wille Horton and Jim Northrup.
- Both Mack Jones and Doug Ault of the Toronto Blue Jays are the only two people to hit the first home runs of their franchise history outside the United States. Sadly both of them died in 2004.
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