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Bobby Jones Day: RedHawks to honor long time manager Friday

Jones has played or managed pro baseball in Oklahoma for more than 20 years
BY RYAN ABER, Staff Writer, raber@opubco.com Modified: August 19, 2010 at 9:13 pm •  Published: August 19, 2010
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Bobby Jones was here when the Texas Rangers came to town as the Oklahoma City 89ers' parent club.

Now, more than 27 years later, Jones will be here when the Rangers likely shift their affiliation from the team now known as the RedHawks to the Round Rock Express.

Jones hasn't been in Oklahoma the whole time, but he's spent much of the last three decades in the state, first as a player with both the 89ers and Tulsa Drillers and then through three stints as the manager in Oklahoma City and two stints in Tulsa.

With the RedHawks' affiliation almost certain to change next year, Jones is just as likely to be managing elsewhere, probably in Round Rock.

So the RedHawks will honor him with Bobby Jones Day tonight at AT&T Bricktown Ballpark before their 7:05 game against Reno. A plaque will be placed at the Brick honoring Jones' time with the team.

He is the organization's all-time leader in wins as a manager.

"It's pretty cool, isn't it?" Jones said sitting in his office with his brother, Curtis, before Thursday's game. "They didn't have to do all this. It's really nice."

"All this" is much more than just honoring Jones.

The team flew in Jones' family for the event — his brother, his sister Rita and his daughter Jill.

Jones has been away from his family since 1967, leaving Elkton, Md., for professional baseball or military service in Vietnam.

Even though he's been away from home for more than 40 years, when the brothers get together, it's like they've never been apart.

"His wife, Debbie, can't get over it when she sees us together," Curtis Jones said. "You couldn't ask for a better person. We've never had a fight. Never.

"I tell my boys, 'I wish you were like Bobby.'"

Bobby is 18 months older than Curtis.

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