Former Padres Jones still 'living the dream' in baseball
He continues to work around the game without working in the game.
“I'm living the dream,” Jones said recently. “I love baseball and every day I get to wake up and do something baseball related and who can argue with that?”
A typical week for the 61 year-old includes his Tuesday on-line radio show, broadcast live from the Randy Jones All American Sports Grill in Hazard Center.
He also provides pre-game commentary for the Padres flagship station, and he's not afraid to offer criticism in either medium.
“When (the Padres) frustrate me, I'm going to say so,” Jones said. “When the pitcher frustrates me and doesn't get the job done, I'm not going to ridicule him, but I am going to complain a little bit and talk about how they can improve.”
In addition to his Tuesday radio show, Jones spends 2-3 days per week at his restaurant that opened in November. His menu features meals with the barbecue sauce made from his grandfather's recipe.
While at the restaurant, Jones makes the rounds, shaking the hands of patrons and sharing stories of his playing days. He also has several pieces of memorabilia and pictures of him in action with his trademark blonde afro spilling out of his baseball cap.
“Most people remember me as the pitcher,” Jones said. “My bio's big enough on the back of the menu, I make sure they do. “
On Sundays, Jones stays home in Escondido, holding private pitching lessons for kids on his backyard pitching mound.
Jones has worked with several future stars, including San Francisco Giants pitcher Barry Zito (USDHS), He says this work keeps him sane amongst all the craziness of his other jobs.
“It's always fun,” Jones said. “You can make a difference for some of these kids with their mechanics and I've seen that. It's just heart-warming to see the kids and their desire gets me fired up again. They had the desire that I had when I was a kid for baseball and I like to see that passion and that love.”
Jones spent eight seasons with the Padres during the 1970's and had his number 35 retired by the ballclub. He holds the team records for most innings pitched (1,766), starts (253), complete games (71) and shutouts (18).
He still makes public appearances for the team and operates the Randy Jones Barbecue stand at Petco Park, which originally began at Qualcomm Stadium 16 seasons ago.
Whether it's at the restaurant, on his radio show, or on his backyard mound giving lessons, Jones always has the same attitude.
“I look forward every morning to getting up and going to work,” he said.
Not many people can say that.