Baltimore Orioles: Closest thing to homecoming for Adam Jones


Adam Jones of the Baltimore Orioles doesn’t really get the opportunity to play in his hometown, save for a few isolated instances. Jones is from San Diego, which of course is a National League city. Occasionally the O’s will play there, but not often.

So in general he has to settle for playing as close to home as possible, and that would be this weekend when the Birds play their annual series in Orange County, CA against Anaheim. The two cities are approximately 96 miles apart. Again it’s not totally playing in his hometown, but certainly within his home region, so to speak. It would be like a Baltimore-native playing in Philadelphia in a sense.

We see this in sports quite frequently – players returning to their home areas to play away games, that is. If you look in the

Courtesy of Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

NFL right up (and down) the road, Philadelphia Eagles’ standout Brian Westbrook had some of his best games as a pro at FedEx Field near DC. Westbrook of course is a DC native. However perhaps more poignantly we see athletes (such as Nick Markakis) coming back to the place where they played for so long as a visitor nowadays also. However both are powerful scenes.

If you’re in the business of sports, it’s understood that for the most part you aren’t going to be working near where you grew up. So I would submit that it has to be an extra special type of deal for a guy like Jones to go back to his home region to play. And make no mistake about the fact that football and baseball are very different in that sense. Baseball players are usually in town for a three-game series, which gives them a great opportunity to visit with family and friends.

In the case of other athletes (especially football players), they’re in and out of town. NFL teams playing a road game usually fly out of their home cities on the day before a game at such a time that they’ll get to their hotel at around 5 or 6 PM. The players will have an opportunity to eat dinner at the hotel, and maybe enjoy a team movie before going to sleep. The next morning there’ll be team meetings at the hotel prior to bussing over to the stadium for the game. And then they’ll fly back to their cities immediately after the game. So there’s little down time for visiting.

In the Orioles’ case this weekend, they had an off day in Anaheim yesterday, which gave the likes of Jones, along with perhaps Chris Tillman (who literally is in his hometown of Anaheim) and several other southern California natives an opportunity to visit with family and friends. But spin this type of thing into the real world; if you’re originally from Baltimore and you move elsewhere for work (let’s say Chicago), it would be a little strange and also incredibly cool for you to be sent to Baltimore for a business trip.

The series in Anaheim begins this evening with Kevin Gausman on the mound. He’ll be opposed by Anaheim’s Andrew Heaney. Game time is set for just after 10 PM.

Next: Baltimore Orioles: Should Dan Duquette look for August trades?

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