As this bitterly awful Orioles season winds to a close, it comes with the realization the city of Baltimore may be seeing the last days of center fielder Adam Jones in black and orange.
The contract of Jones, the longest-tenured player on the club, is up at the end of this season. And in the midst of the trade deadline sell-off this summer, the Orioles may have made their intentions known when they reportedly reached a deal to send Jones to the Philadelphia Phillies.
Using his rights as a player who’s been in the league for 10 years and with the same team for five, Jones nixed the deal.
“It’s my decision,” Jones said at the time, in the kind of classic straight-talk he’s been known for during his time in Baltimore. “It’s my life. There’s the thing. I’m not going around telling other people and dictating other people’s lives. Why do they do that with us? So, no one’s going to tell me what to do. I earned every single bit of it. People before me fought vigorously to get rights like this, and I can invoke them.”
The veto put both the Orioles and Jones in a tenuous place–the veteran outfielder charged with playing out the string on a historically bad team in the middle of the youth movement, the team rebuffed in its public breakup with one of the franchise’s biggest starts and most likable personalities.
Every article on Jones’ leadership touches on his charity work in the city, so it’s only fitting that today, ahead of what may be his final series at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, he and his wife, Audie, made a hefty $75,000 donation to various causes.
The Orioles are matching the donations.
Their combined donations include: $100,000 for Living Classrooms, $20,000 for Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Baltimore, $10,000 for Stocks in the Future, $10,000 for Harlem Lacrosse, $5,000 for Sharp Dressed Man and $5,000 for Baltimore Urban Baseball Association.
Before Saturday’s games, the Joneses will present the representatives from each organization with the money.
“These incredible organizations are doing amazing work to empower Baltimore’s youth, which has always been our top priority,” Jones said in a statement. “Audie and I personally met with each of these groups and we were so inspired by their various missions. We know that educational opportunities are critical for inner-city children, and we are proud to support causes that will help these kids achieve academic success, develop financial literacy, and ultimately, pursue higher education.”
In the last six years, the Orioles and the Joneses have teamed up to give $225,000 each to six causes, the team said.
And no matter what happens in the offseason, Jones will be back in town for his #StayHungry Tailgate on Nov. 25, before the Ravens game against the Oakland Raiders. Proceeds benefit the Boys & Girls Club.