Today, the Baseball Hall of Fame announced the newbies on the 2018 ballot. Next to players like his namesake Chipper Jones, Trevor Hoffman, first-timers Omar Vizquel and Jim Thome, Curaçao native Andruw Jones is also on the ballot.
Andruw Jones broke into the majors at the age of 19. He was the youngest player to hit a home run in the World Series in 1996. He was only the second player who homered in his first two at-bats in the World Series.
Until the breakout of other players of the Dutch Antilles, players like Jonathan Schoop, Xander Bogaerts and Didi Gregorius, Jones was the most successful player from Curaçao.
On August 15, 1996, Jones debuted with the Atlanta Braves after he cruised through A Advanced, AA, and AAA. Apparently, they were so impressed that they decided to put him on the playoff roster. During his career, Jones played for the Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas Rangers, Chicago White Sox and the New York Yankees. On October 3, 2012 he played his last MLB game with the New York Yankees.
After no MLB club offered him a contract, Jones decided to head to Japan, where he joined the Rakuten Golden Eagles with whom he won the 2013 Nippon Series.
In 2000, 2002, 2003, 2005 and 2006, Jones was an All-Star. Jones won the following hardware: Gold Glove (1997-2008), Silver Slugger Award, Hank Aaron Award (both in 2005). Jones also hit the most home runs of MLB in 2005 and had the most runs batted in in the National League in the very same year.
Average-wise, Jones had his best season in 2000 when he hit .303/.366/.541.
In October 2015, Jones joined team Kingdom of the Netherlands as a first baseman as the team participated in the inaugural Premier 12 tournament of the WBSC. This was a final attempt to get an MLB contract. Unfortunately, no MLB team was i nterested. Eventually, Andruw announced his retirement in February 2016. Later that year, in August, Andruw was inducted into the Braves’ Hall of Fame.
With a lifetime average of .254, 1,933 hits and 434 home runs, it remains to be seen if he will ever be voted into the Hall of Fame.
There are a few very questionable newbies on the 2018 ballot. Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Manny Ramirez and Sammy Sosa, who have all been linked to PED use.