When Randy Jones retired from Major League Baseball, he was unsure of what lie ahead. He did know, however, he had a degree in business from Chapman University, and he planned to use it.
“I put a lot of hours into it (getting a degree),” Randy Jones said. “I assumed that I would one day use it, which I had after baseball, and it pioneered me.”
Jones is part of the small fraternity of players, and the biggest named baseball player to ever come out of Chapman University and play in the Major Leagues. He joins former Padres teammate and current San Francisco Giants coach, Tim Flannery, and former Milwaukee Brewers pitcher, Don August, who also made it to the Majors from Chapman.
The Brea, Calif., native still resides in the city where he made professional baseball popular. Jones was part of some of the worst Padres’ teams in the franchise’s history, but fans would nearly sell out what was then San Diego Stadium to see the left-hander pitch.
When the 1976 National League Cy young Award winner toed the slab, he made sure not to ruin anyone’s post game plans.
It is recorded that on May 4,1977 Jones completed a game in 1 hour, 29 minutes, something that is un-heard of in today’s game. Today, games can last upwards of three and a half hours.
At the end of the 1982 season, the two-time All-Star decided to hang up his cleats because of reoccurring injuries to his pitching elbow.
“Retirement was kind of easy,” the 20-game winner said. “It basically got to a point where the game wasn’t fun anymore for me, so it was time to retire.”
When Jones retired, he wasn’t exactly sure what he wanted to do with his life, all he knew was that he needed to make a living, so he dabbled into a few business ventures until he found the right fit.
Towards the end of his playing days, Jones along with several business partners, invested in and owned four car washes. Jones soon found out that the car wash business wasn’t for him and sold his share.
Then came the food business where Jones has found much success in his post-baseball life, due in large part because his line includes the famous Randy Jones Barbeque Sauces, which have now expanded to feature two new flavors: Honey Mustard Marinated and Habanero Hot Sauce.
Jones said the barbecue sauce is a family recipe developed by his grandfather.
Not only has Jones made a name for himself with his barbecue sauces but his Randy Jones All American Sports Grill is also a local hit.
Jones credits his success in the food industry to hard work.
“Just taking that same work ethic that I had in baseball into business has really paid dividends,” he said. “It’s not a perfect science, You’ll have your struggles to go along but that’s how you learn, but you got to give your best effort,” Jones added. You cant win every single game and it’s the same in business but if overall you keep that positive attitude and good work ethic, its gonna work out for you.”
One of Jones’ most memorable post baseball moments came in 1997 when the Padres retired his No. 35.
“I was very, very honored that the Padres wanted to do that,” he said. “Very honored to be the first one in that series of guys now that got their number retired. I just thought that was great.”
These days the 62-year-old Jones can be heard on the Padres Pregame radio show on the Mighty XX AM. He’s been doing radio since the early ’90s and enjoys sharing his insight about the game.
It turns out many fans today recognize him by his voice.
“After all these years on the radio everybody knows my voice,” the Padres Hall of Famer said. “I’ll start talking and everybody can recognize my voice and then they know it is me,”
“Ill be in line at a grocery store with my wife and all of a sudden I look up and everybody is staring at me. I’m like, ‘What’s wrong with these people?’ And they recognize my voice and say ‘You’re Randy Jones.’ Then they ask: ‘Where’s mybig fro? Where’s my big curly hair?'”
For more information about Randy Jones’ barbecue sauces, check out the Web site at: www.RandyJonesbbq.com