Wednesday, June 26, 2019

1967 Topps #165 Cleon Jones

I often find the "Where are They Now" features on retired ballplayer fascinated. Particularly those that are accomplished off the field.

Recently I saw a a news item on 1960s-1970s era Mets outfielder Cleon Jones.

1967 Topps #165 Cleon Jones

Jones has returned to the community where he was raised, Africatown Alabama which is near Mobile. He is 76 now and is busy helping out townspeople and elderly folks fixing and painting their homes. Africatown is an historic town in the area which is attempting to build a museum to honor the communities past. To read about the towns history, I strongly recommend you read this Alabama Newscenter article to find out about Africatown and Cleon Jones' efforts.

1967 Topps
Seeing the story about Cleon Jones also gives us a chance to add a column to our All-Star Rookie Cup Series. Unless team Phungo returns to serious blogging the Series will remain unfinished, but I do think it is within the realm of possibility to get up a Rookie Cup from each year and all the Phillies.

For his 1966 Cleon Jones received a single Rookie of the Year vote, good enough to place him 4th in the voting which was won by Reds Infielder Tommy Helms. Jones played 13 years which is wear several of his 1966 Topps Rookie All-Stars mates fall. The leader for tenure appears to be Woodie Fryman (LHP 18 years), while George Scott (1B) led the crew in WAR (36.5, Jones = 18.5). 

1967 Topps #165 Cleon Jones (b-side)

No pressure here, just that the back of Cleon Jones' first solo card mentions Hank Aaron, Billy Williams and Willie McCovey (featured on the very first Topps All-Star Rookie Cup card)

One of the many reason blog output has been slow is I have diverted my hobby time to artwork - mainly sketching baseball cards. Cleon Jones off the field charity inspired me to create a 5x7 based off of his 1967T card coupled with his efforts in Africatown.

1967T Cleon Jones (Phungo Original 5x7 in 2019 06 24)

Chief among my customizations is changing the bat to a paint roller. I also added a different trophy, changed the Mets team designation to Africatown and gave Cleon a background of a refurbished home rather than Shea Stadium.

Sources and Links
1967 Topps Rookie Cup Index (1966 Winners)
Phungo Sketch Index
Alabama NewsCenter
Baseballl-ref BR-Bullpen


Brett Alan said...

As a Mets fan who started watching baseball when Jones was a star, I have a warm spot in my heart for him. Picked up an auto from Archives Snapshots not long ago which is an absolutely beautiful card. Good to know that the man’s heart is even more beautiful.

Jim from Downingtown said...

Jones' 1969 Mets teammate (and fellow 1966 All-Rookie) Tommie Agee came from Magnolia, AL - 2 hours away from Mobile.

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