Getting to know Padres pitching legend Randy Jones
the mound at Qualcomm
Stricker: You won the National League Cy Young Award
in 1976. How do you think you became so successful?
Jones: Thanks Danny. Its always great to be back here on
the mound, a fitting place to talk a little baseball. Now, the only way you can
have success in baseball is through hard work. The great thing about baseball
is that you do all that hard work, but its really something that you love to
do. You get to play in the grass and dirt and have fun at the same time as you
put in your work
Stricker: Did you have someone you admired and looked up to as
a role model?
Jones: Early in my career I had idols, I would
say Sandy Kofacs, the left handed pitcher for the Dodgers in the Hall of Fame.
Sandy exemplified what I wanted to be, a successful pitcher in the National
League. Now I couldn’t throw as hard as he could but I could use him
as a model to become successful and that’s what I did. I think that’s
still important today for kids to have something to shoot for. Everybody you
see on the Padres has had that dream since they were little boys, to be professional
baseball players, and you achieve that by working a little bit harder than
Stricker: What kind of traits does it take to have that success?
Jones: With Kofacs, I think it, one thing was just a lot of belief
in himself. The way he went about his business when he pitched, very confident,
he didn’t wait for things to happen he made them happen on the mound.
That’s what you have to do if you want to be successful. You can’t
be defensive, you don’t hope to get somebody out. You’ve got to
go up there with the aggressiveness and confidence that you know you are going
to get the guy out.
Stricker: What advise do you have for kids to be successful?
Jones: Well were not just talking about baseball here. What
ever your dream is in life, you have to go after it with a work ethic and chase
that goal. Its not going to come to you. The only way to do that is to work
hard. Go to college, get your education. whether its being a surgeon, an attorney
or a baseball player.
Stricker: I understand you want to teach more kids about baseball.
Can you tell me about your Baseball Academy?
Jones: At the Randy Jones Baseball Academy we have camps for
young kids to teach the fundamentals. Everybody needs a good foundation of
the fundamentals if you want to be a successful baseball player and that’s
what I do at my baseball camp. If you have a better understanding of what you
want to do, that’s going to make you more confident.
Stricker: What about your restaurant here at the stadium. Can
you tell me about that?
Jones: We started on a whim eleven years ago and its grown
every year. We've got my own barbeque sauce in stores now and we are looking
forward to being in the new ballpark next year. Its a lot of hard work, but
its a lot of fun too.