Bobby Jones, 63, is the all-time leader for wins (closing in on 1,500) by a minor league manager in the Texas Rangers system. He is the 89ers/RedHawks franchise's most successful manager, leading the RedHawks to division titles in 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2008.
The Vietnam War veteran played in parts of nine major league seasons from the mid-70s to mid-80s.
Other than 2001 and 2006 when he was on the Texas Rangers staff, Jones has managed in the Rangers system since 1988. He has managed Round Rock the past three seasons after the Rangers moved their Triple-A affiliate to the Austin area.
Q: Was joining the Texas Rangers in the playoffs and World Series in 2010 and 2011 after the Triple-A season ended the biggest thrill of your career?
“Definitely. Being in uniform with them during the World Series was awesome. It was a fun time. It was the first time I'd ever been involved with a World Series. It was unbelievable. When they introduced me on the field before the game is something I'll never forget.”
What was your role with the Rangers after the Triple-A season was over?
“I'm a coach. If they're facing a left-hander that day like Andy Pettitte or David Price, I'll throw batting practice to the lineup.”
How satisfying is it to watch prospects you managed like Ian Kinsler, Derek Holland, Rick Helling, Matt Harrison, Nelson Cruz and others have successful major league careers?
“You would like to think somewhere along the line you've helped give them a little something to help them get to the majors and play well in the majors.”
What are your favorite memories managing in Oklahoma City?
“The year we had Nelson Cruz and got in the PCL finals. That was a team that was a lot of fun.”
Does it feel like old home week every time to return to Oklahoma City?
“I live in Tulsa (in the offseason), so this area is home. I was on the first team when Texas moved its Triple-A team here in 1983. I played for the 89ers at the old ballpark. I've been associated with Okie City a long time as a player and a manager. There are a lot of great memories from my time in Oklahoma City. The fans have always been great to me. I still have people who holler at me every time we come here. I have a lot of good friends here. It's always fun to come back.”
What's it like to be part of different eras, including the team moving from All Sports Stadium to the Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark?
“The revitalized downtown is awesome. They've done such a great job here. This is one of the best Triple-A parks in the country, a great place to play baseball.”