Jones thrilled to help Baltimore on, off field
All-Star recognized for community work; willing to assist pursuit of free agents
BALTIMORE -- Adam Jones isn't worried about the Orioles' quiet offseason, although the outfielder said Thursday night he would gladly make hospitality visits to help woo potential free agents.
"I'd reach out to anybody, if need be," said Jones, who owns a home in Maryland and was in town to accept the 2014 Babe Ruth Museum Community Service Award. "I know [A.J.] Burnett lives here in Baltimore, somewhere close to me. I'd go to his house. I'd take him some steaks, if need be. But it's out of my hands. If you needed me to help, I'd help."
Burnett, who technically lives in nearby Monkton, is one of several free-agent pitchers the O's have interest in as the team looks to still make a major move this winter. Jones, when asked what he would say to fans disappointed over the team's quiet offseason, reminded reporters that the Orioles didn't do much last winter or the one prior and still have posted back-to-back winning seasons.
"I think we are getting better as a core, we just got to figure out the small pieces to make this engine run," he said.
Jones is a big part of that core, coming off a career year and an All-Star season that also landed him a Gold Glove Award. His accolades off the field are just as impressive, as Jones -- a product of MLB's Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities program while growing up in San Diego -- has been a fixture in the Baltimore community, and he has dedicated countless resources to helping underprivileged youth.
The Babe Ruth Museum Community Service Award was created to honor Ruth's memory by recognizing an active or former professional athlete or individual with ties to the Maryland sports community, who has demonstrated a strong devotion to Baltimore and the State of Maryland by giving back to the community. Previous recipients include O.J. Brigance and his wife, Chanda; Matt Stover; Edwin Mulitalo; Brian Roberts; Melvin Mora; Nick Markakis and his wife, Christina; and the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation.
"It keeps getting better in terms of the recognition that I keep getting, for myself and my team, for the small things I try to accomplish off the field," Jones said. "This is not about receiving awards, it's about helping the youth and creating opportunities. Luckily, I'm in a position to do that."
Jones, who got to hold one of Ruth's bats during the ceremony, signed autographs and took pictures with those in attendance for the annual "Babe's Birthday Bash," which celebrated the 119th anniversary of Ruth's birth in Baltimore and commemorated the 100th anniversary of Ruth's professional baseball debut in February 1914.
The evening included unlimited ballpark-inspired food and beverages; a silent auction; and appearances by local professional and amateur athletes, including former O's players Al Bumbry, Tippy Martinez and Joe Orsulak.
Brittany Ghiroli is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.