Sam Jones was born on Monday, December 14, 1925, in Stewartsville, Ohio. Jones was 25 years old when he broke into the big leagues on September 22, 1951, with the Cleveland Indians. His biographical data, year-by-year hitting stats, fielding stats, pitching stats (where applicable), career totals, uniform numbers, salary data and miscellaneous items-of-interest are presented by Baseball Almanac on this comprehensive Sam Jones baseball stats page.
"Sam (Jones) had the best curve ball I ever saw. He was quick and fast and that curve was terrific, so big it was like a change of pace. I've seen guys fall down on sweeping curves that became strikes. Right handers thought Sam had the most wicked curve, and as a left-handed hitter, I thought it was positively the best." - Hall of Famer Stan Musial in Stan Musial: The Man's own story, as told to Bob Broeg (Stan Musial, Doubleday Publishing, Sam Jones , 1964)
Sam Jones Pitching Stats
Sam Jones Hitting Stats
Sam Jones Fielding Stats
Sam Jones Miscellaneous Stats
|Baserunning Statistics||Other Positions||Common Hitting Ratios||Common Pitching Ratios|
Sam Jones Miscellaneous Items of Interest
|Team [Click for Roster]||Uniform Numbers||Salary||All-Star||World Series|
|1951 Cleveland Indians||36||Undetermined||-||-|
|1952 Cleveland Indians||22||Undetermined||-||-|
|1955 Chicago Cubs||27||Undetermined||Stats||-|
|1956 Chicago Cubs||27||Undetermined||-||-|
|1957 St. Louis Cardinals||23||Undetermined||-||-|
|1958 St. Louis Cardinals||23||Undetermined||-||-|
|1959 San Francisco Giants||19||Undetermined||Stats||-|
|1960 San Francisco Giants||19||Undetermined||-||-|
|1961 San Francisco Giants||19||Undetermined||-||-|
|1962 Detroit Tigers||23||Undetermined||-||-|
|1963 St. Louis Cardinals||23||Undetermined||-||-|
|1964 Baltimore Orioles||35||$8,500.00||-||-|
|Sam Jones Stats by Baseball Almanac|
Samuel Jones, who was born Daniel Pore Franklin and had his name changed as a child, was a Major League Baseball player Cleveland Indians (1951-1952), Chicago Cubs (1955-1956), St. Louis Cardinals (1957-1958, 1962), San Francisco Giants (1959-1961), Detroit Tigers (1962) and Baltimore Orioles (1964).
Sam Jones was nicknamed Toothpick Sam, because he always had one in his mouth (below). Sometimes reporters referred to him as Sad Sam, due to his mournful appearance, similar to the American League twirler from earlier years ( Sad Sam Jones | 1914-1935).
Quincy Trouppe & Sam Jones | Cleveland Indians Press Photograph | 1952
On May 3, 1952 , Sam Jones entered the game during the seventh inning, relieving Lou Brissie ( Bob Feller was the starter), and his catcher that day in Griffith Stadium was Quincy Trouppe . The duo formed the first black battery (pitcher & catcher / pictured above) in American League history!
On July 12, 1955 , Sam Jones was sent to his first-of-two All-Star Games, earning his position on the National League team due to a strong first half that included 114 strikeouts, 19 starts, 8 complete games, 2 shutouts, and a no-hitter, on May 12, 1955 .
Sam Jones No Hitter: May 12, 1955
Sam Jones was in his first full season in the major leagues when he took the mound Thursday, May 12 for the fourth place Chicago Cubs. The 29-year-old Jones was new to the Cubs, having come as part of a trade with the Indians for Ralph Kiner .
Just 2,918 were at Wrigley Field to watch Jones face the sixth place Pittsburgh Pirates and Nellie King . Jones had a 3-3 record.
By the the time he walked off the mound for the last time that afternoon, Jones had not only become the first black pitcher to hurl a no-hitter in the big leagues, he had also fired the first no-hitter at Wrigley Field since 1918 and became the second guy named Sam Jones to blank the opposition.
The overpowering Cubs hurler used 136 pitches to face 31 batters. He struck out six, but walked seven, and was aided by two Chicago double plays. He retired the side in order just four times.
One of those times was in the first when Jones got Tim Saffell on a grounder to first, Dick Groat on a fly to right and Roberto Clemente on a bouncer to third. Jones only faced three batters in the second, after issuing a one-ut walk to Dale Long who was thrown out trying to steal second.
The Cubs, who backed Jones with a 15-hit attack, gave him some early support with lone runs in the first and second. In the first, singles by Gene Baker and Bob Speake preceded a double by Ted Tappe . Dee Fondy singled, stole second and came hom on a two-out double by Eddie Miksis in the second.
Meanwhile, Jones continued to experience control problems. He walked Toby Atwell leading off the third , but then got Gene Freese on a pop up to third, pinch hitter Felix Montemayor on strikes and Saffell on a force out at second. In the fourth, Jackson made a one-handed catch at third of Frank Thomas ' screaming two-out liner as Jones again retired the side in order.
Long walked to start the fifth, but was erased on Freese's double play grounder to Banks . Then the Cubs went down in order in the sixth and seventh. Another fine defensive play occurred in the seventh as Groat hit a leadoff smash that ticked off Jones's glove and bounced toward Gene Baker , who charged the ball and made an underhanded toss that got to first just in time.
Long walked again to lead off the eighth. Then Miksis made the defensive play of the game when he raced to the wall in deep center and made a one-handed grab of Freese's long drive. Atwell finished with a line drive that Jackson caught and threw to first to nail Long for a double play.
Jones dug himself a hole in the ninth when he walked Freese , pinch-hitter Preston Ward and Saffell to load the bases. When Freese went to second on a wild pitch to Ward , it was the first time a Pirates runner had gone to far.
With the Cubs' bullpen in action, Jones righted himself by striking out the side. Groat watched three pitches go by for called strikes. Next Clemente , after fouling off two pitches, fanned on an 0-2 count. Then Thomas took a called third strike on a 1-2 count to end the game.
Jones finished with a 14-20 record that year. He came close to pitching two more no-hitters in 1959 while with the Giants. A questionable scorer's decision on a two-out bouncer in the eighth was the only hit Jones gave up in a 2-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers. He also pitched a seven inning no-hitter against the Cardinals in a rain-shortened game that was won, 4-0.
Researched and written by Rich Westcott ( RichWestcott.com / Rich Westcott Books ), original text from No-Hitters (McFarland, 02/15/2000, 'Chicago (NL) 4, vs. Pittsburgh 0, May 12, 1955, Sam Jones', Pages 181-182). Preserved on Baseball Almanac with written permission of the author.
Sam Jones No Hitter | The Hartford Courant | May 13, 1955 | Page 25
Sam Jones won 21 games in 1959 , the second member of the legendary Black Aces , the title of a book written by Mudcat Grant , a member himself, which are black pitchers who have won at least 20 games in a single season. Toothpick Sam led the league in wins, won the ERA Title , and finished second in the Cy Young Award . Do you know who beat him in 1959 ? [ Answer ]